WASHINGTON – In one of the most reprehensible and dangerous decisions by the Trump Environmental Protection Agency, Administrator Andrew Wheeler will announce tomorrow that the agency will drop proposals to ban certain hazardous uses for three extremely toxic, even lethal chemicals.
The EPA had proposed to restrict certain applications of methylene chloride, trichloroethylene and n-methylpyrrolidone, but will now scrap those proposed bans less than a week before Wheeler and President Trump leave office. It will be another in a string of 11th-hour environmental rollbacks by the Trump administration, leaving it up the incoming Biden administration to restart the long and arduous process required to see these proposals to fruition.
“This decision confirms that Andrew Wheeler has had zero interest during his time running the EPA in protecting the public from dangerous and deadly chemicals,” said EWG’s Senior Vice President for Government Affairs Scott Faber. “Zero.”
“It is clear that since President Trump lost the election, Wheeler is doing all he can to trash the place on his way out the door to add to the enormous challenges already facing the new administration,” Faber said. “It’s reprehensible but completely on-brand for an EPA administrator who will go down as the worst in history.”
- Trichloroethylene, or TCE, is an industrial solvent that damages the immune system, harms the developing fetus and causes cancer.
- Methylene chloride is a common industrial solvent used for paint stripping, vapor degreasing, printing, electronics manufacturing and cleaning. It causes cancer and liver damage in animal studies.
- N-methylpyrrolidone is another paint-stripping and degreasing chemical and is linked to fetal harm and other developmental impacts and birth defects.
The Environmental Working Group is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that empowers people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. Through research, advocacy and unique education tools, EWG drives consumer choice and civic action.