"White House, EPA Headed Off Chemical Pollution Study"

"The intervention by Scott Pruitt’s aides came after one White House official warned the findings would cause a ‘public relations nightmare.'"

"Scott Pruitt’s EPA and the White House sought to block publication of a federal health study on a nationwide water-contamination crisis, after one Trump administration aide warned it would cause a "public relations nightmare," newly disclosed emails reveal.

The intervention early this year — not previously disclosed — came as HHS' Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry was preparing to publish its assessment of a class of toxic chemicals that has contaminated water supplies near military bases, chemical plants and other sites from New York to Michigan to West Virginia.

The study would show that the chemicals endanger human health at a far lower level than EPA has previously called safe, according to the emails.

“The public, media, and Congressional reaction to these numbers is going to be huge,” one unidentified White House aide said in an email forwarded on Jan. 30 by James Herz, a political appointee who oversees environmental issues at the OMB. The email added: “The impact to EPA and [the Defense Department] is going to be extremely painful. We (DoD and EPA) cannot seem to get ATSDR to realize the potential public relations nightmare this is going to be.”"

Annie Snider reports for Politico May 14, 2018.


"Trump Officials Worried About 'Public Relations Nightmare' Over Contaminated Drinking Water Near Military Bases" (CNBC)

"Worried About A 'Public Relations Nightmare,' White House and EPA Aides Worked To Block Contaminated Water Study" (Newsweek)

"Lawmakers Call For Probe After Emails Reveal Trump Administration Tried To Block Health Study" (Think Progress)

"White House Thought Burying a Report About Poison Drinking Water Was a Great Idea" (Vanity Fair)

"EPA's 'Safe' PFAS Level Is 6 Times Too High, Blocked Report Says" (Grand Rapids Press)

"At Pruitt’s EPA, Stricter Limits to Protect Americans from Toxic Fluorinated Chemicals are ‘Nightmare’" (Environmental Working Group release)

"EPA, DOD Tried To Curb Foam Chemical Concerns, Emails Show" (Bucks County Courier Times)

Source: Politico, 05/15/2018