Last week, one of the worst of a bad lot of industry-friendly Trump appointments withdrew his name from consideration as head of the EPA’s chemical safety office. Michael Dourson (I first wrote about him here) was apparently so bad that even Republicans were not going to support him. As the Washington Post wrote:
Critics said Dourson had too many conflicts of interest to be considered for the EPA post. If confirmed to lead the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, they noted, he could oversee the review of chemicals produced by companies he once represented.
“The withdrawal of Michael Dourson’s nomination is good news for the health of American families,” Richard Denison, lead scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund, said in a statement. “It was clear from the beginning that Dr. Dourson was a dangerous choice. . . . He would have undermined public health and damaged the historic chemical safety reforms passed by Congress last year.”
Stepp to lead EPA regional office
This morning’s Wheeling Intelligencer partially covered the appointment on page 3. Unfortunately, the last 70% of the AP article was dropped from the Intelligencer’s coverage. While the Intelligencer article did include a one-sentence criticism from the Natural Resources Defense Council, it left out other criticism:
A former homebuilder with no scientific background, Stepp was chosen by Gov. Scott Walker to lead the Wisconsin natural resources department, where she oversaw a reorganization that included staffing cuts in its science and research bureau.
The number of enforcement cases fell sharply during her tenure. The department replaced some passages on its website describing humans as partly responsible for climate change, saying instead that scientists were still debating the matter. . . .
The head of the EPA’s national employee union said Stepp, 54, is unqualified and has a history of favoring business interests over environmental protection.
“I see her cutting back on enforcement and fines and doing things that certain aspects of industry will appreciate,” said John O’Grady, president of AFGE Council 238, which represents about 9,000 EPA staffers.
Stepp would appear to fit well in the hen house.