Trump's EPA leadership is unabashedly a stooge of the chemical industry. The goal is to roll back regulations that keep industrial chemicals from damaging the health and environment of people exposed to them in the interest of corporate profits.
For years, the Environmental Protection Agency has struggled to prevent an ingredient once used in stain-resistant carpets and nonstick pans from contaminating drinking water.Why Has the E.P.A. Shifted on Toxic Chemicals? An Industry Insider Helps Call the Shotshttps://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/21/us/trump-epa-chemicals-regulations.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region®ion=top-news&WT.nav=top-news
The chemical, perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, has been linked to kidney cancer, birth defects, immune system disorders and other serious health problems.
So scientists and administrators in the E.P.A.’s Office of Water were alarmed in late May when a top Trump administration appointee insisted upon the rewriting of a rule to make it harder to track the health consequences of the chemical, and therefore regulate it.
The revision was among more than a dozen demanded by the appointee, Nancy B. Beck, after she joined the E.P.A.’s toxic chemical unit in May as a top deputy. For the previous five years, she had been an executive at the American Chemistry Council, the chemical industry’s main trade association.
...the E.P.A. regulates some 80,000 different chemicals, many of them highly toxic and used in workplaces, homes and everyday products. If chemicals are deemed less risky, they are less likely to be subjected to heavy oversight and restrictions.
...In March, Scott Pruitt, the E.P.A. chief, overrode the recommendation of Ms. Hamnett and agency scientists to ban the commercial use of the pesticide chlorpyrifos, blamed for developmental disabilities in children.
The E.P.A.’s new leadership also pressed agency scientists to re-evaluate a plan to ban certain uses of two dangerous chemicals that have caused dozens of deaths or severe health problems: methylene chloride, which is found in paint strippers, and trichloroethylene, which removes grease from metals and is used in dry cleaning.
...Dr. Beck, who has a doctorate in environmental health, comes from a camp — firmly backed by the chemical industry — that says the government too often directs burdensome rules at what she has called “phantom risks.”
Other scientists and administrators at the E.P.A., including Wendy Cleland-Hamnett, until last month the agency’s top official overseeing pesticides and toxic chemicals, say the dangers are real and the pushback is often a tactic for deflecting accountability — and shoring up industry profits at the expense of public safety.
On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and a complete narcissistic moron.
...H. L. Mencken