Washington (December 14, 2017) – Micheal Dourson, President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention has withdrawn his nomination. The Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention’s mission is to protect the public and environment from potential risks from pesticides and toxic chemicals and is responsible for implementing the Toxic Substances Control Act, which was reauthorized on a bipartisan basis in 2016. In 2014 and 2017, Dourson led two industry-funded studies that defended a safe level of exposure to the carcinogen dioxane that is 1,000 times greater than EPA’s health based safety level. Dioxane is an industrial chemical found in a wide range of products and known to frequently contaminate water systems. Mr. Dourson also led a study in 2016 funded by the American Chemistry Counsel that proposed a safety range for the toxic chemical trichloroethylene (TCE) that is 1.5 to 15 times less protective than the EPA’s own drinking water standard.
Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, released the following statement:
“Michael Dourson has never met a chemical he did not like, and he was the wrong choice to lead an office with a mission to protect the public and environment from toxic chemicals. Mr. Dourson has spent decades of his career protecting the chemical industry and advocating for the safety of their products over that of public health. His positions on chemical safety are so out of the realm of scientific norms that they are not just outliers, they are outrageous. The nominee to lead the office responsible for implementing the Toxic Substances Control Act cannot be a partisan industry agent, but must be an individual who can respect and uphold the historic bipartisan negotiations that produced this updated law.
“While I am pleased that Mr. Dourson has withdrawn his nomination, he is still exerting his influence as he continues to serve in the position of special advisor to the Administrator at EPA in the very office that he was nominated to head. I call on Mr. Dourson to immediately remove himself from all of his duties at the EPA and allow Congress and the administration to fulfill their obligation to the American people by nominating and vetting a qualified candidate to lead this office.”