WASHINGTON – Michael Dourson, who President Trump nominated to run the chemical safety division at the Environmental Protection Agency, withdrew his name from consideration after it was clear there were not enough votes in the Senate to confirm him.
Since Trump tapped Dourson in July to be in charge of the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevent at EPA, his decades-long career green washing chemicals as a scientist-for-hire for the chemical industry has been the focus of public health advocates, lawmakers and the media.
Several members of the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee, led by the panel’s Ranking Member, Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., helped expose Dourson’s long history of significantly downplaying the risks of a number of toxic chemical contaminants at the behest of industry.
The consistent and vocal resistance from lawmakers and local activists like retired Marine Corps master sergeant Jerry Ensminger and grassroots groups and public interest organizations all played critical roles in this major victory on behalf of public health, said EWG’s Senior Vice President for Government Affairs Scott Faber.
“Without the steady, unshakable leadership from Sen. Carper and his allies in the Senate, and those critical voices on the ground who have seen their communities and loved ones harmed by toxic pollution, this significant win on behalf of human health and the environment would not have happened,” Faber said. “The demise of the Dourson nomination shows party allegiance has it limits when it comes to protecting our drinking water and children’s health from dangerous pollutants linked to serious and lasting health problems.”
The cracks of support among Republicans for Mr. Dourson began after both Republican Senators from North Carolina, Richard Burr and Thom Tillis publicly opposed Dourson’s nomination over concerns about his position about the risks of certain chemicals that have plagued the drinking water at Camp Lejeune.
“Every American should applaud Sens. Burr and Tillis for placing public health above partisan politics and standing up against President Trump’s attempt to install Mr. Dourson into a job his uniquely unfit to hold,” added Faber.
Following the announcement by Burr and Tillis, Republican Senator Susan Collins from Maine told reported she would likely not support Mr. Dourson.
Photo courtesy of Fred Watkins