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Chemical Industry Insider Rolls Back Rules At EPA

In this Feb. 25, 2010 file photo, refineries and chemical plants release steam near the Houston ship channel. (Pat Sullivan/AP)
In this Feb. 25, 2010 file photo, refineries and chemical plants release steam near the Houston ship channel. (Pat Sullivan/AP)

A chemical industry insider now has a top job at the EPA and is rolling back rules on toxic chemicals. Is safety being compromised?

Changing administrations in Washington means changing policy.  Under the Trump administration, those changes have been particularly sharp at the Environmental Protection Agency – the EPA.  You’ve probably heard about EPA policy reversals on coal, fossil fuels, climate change.  But policy on toxic chemicals around us is changing, too.  Moving toward less scrutiny, less oversight, less tracking of their impact.  This hour, On Point:  The toxic chemicals around us and a looser hand at the EPA. —Tom Ashbrook


Eric Lipton, New York Times reporter. (@EricLiptonNYT)

John Graham, Dean of the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University. (@SPEA_DeanGraham)

Robert Sussman, EPA official in Clinton and Obama administrations and counsel for Safer Chemicals Healthy Families.

Scott Waldman, reporter for E&E News. (@scottpwaldman)

From Tom’s Reading List:

New York Times: Why Has The EPA Shifted On Toxic Chemicals?  “The E.P.A.’s abrupt new direction on legacy chemicals is part of a broad initiative by the Trump administration to change the way the federal government evaluates health and environmental risks associated with hazardous chemicals, making it more aligned with the industry’s wishes.”

CNN: Security Costs Skyrocket At ‘Lightning Rod’ EPA — “The Environmental Protection Agency is beefing up security measures surrounding Administrator Scott Pruitt to an unprecedented level, CNN has learned, as members of Congress are asking if the costs are a ‘potential waste or abuse of taxpayer dollars.'”

USA Today: Furor Erupts Over EPA Decision To Pull Climate Scientists From Panel Discussion — “The Environmental Protection Agency is drawing heat for pulling its scientists from a panel discussion Monday in Rhode Island as part of a conference spotlighting the effects of climate change on the Narragansett Bay. The withdrawal of the two scientists as well as an agency consultant has sparked fresh criticism about EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s skepticism toward the broad scientific community’s conclusion that human-caused global warming is a proven fact and a growing concern.”

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