Former President Barack Obama signed an overhaul of a landmark law in 2016 intended to protect people from being killed or maimed by chemicals, but Donald Trump is sabotaging the law to help the profits of chemical companies.
David Fischer, a former employee of the American Chemistry Council, recently replaced former chemical industry lobbyist Nancy Beck, another former employee of the council, as deputy assistant administrator at the EPA chemical safety office. The council whose members include DuPont and ExxonMobil Chemical spent $9.3 million on federal lobbying in 2018.
The EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention has become a wholly owned subsidiary of the American Chemical Council
“It appears that the EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention has become a wholly owned subsidiary of the American Chemical Council,” said George Washington University professor David Michaels who led OSHA under Obama.
The Obama administration strengthened the Toxic Substances Control Act, signed into law in 1976 by former President Gerald Ford, in part because the original law was so weak that the EPA couldn’t ban asbestos. The law covers more than 40,000 chemicals.
Each year, 12,000-15,000 people die in our nation from exposure to asbestos, and it is banned in more than 50 other countries, including the entire European Union, Australia, Japan and Canada. Under Trump, EPA wrote a rule that could reintroduce some asbestos products.
In March, the EPA banned consumer use of methylene chloride, a solvent used in paint strippers that can kill in minutes but allowed businesses to continue to use the chemical. Deaths from the chemical have been documented since 1947.
The partial ban on methylene chloride is the first restriction of chemicals in 30 years under the part of the TSCA that governs existing chemicals. Wendy Hartley, the mother of Kevin Hartley who died at age 21 in April 2017, and Cindy Wynne, mother of Drew Wynne, 31, who died in October 2017, met with Scott Pruitt when he ran the EPA. They brought photos of their sons and their sons’ death certificates and asked Pruitt to ban methylene chloride.
Proposed regulation of lesser-known chemicals such as pigment violet 29, a chemical used in paint sets and inks, are also flawed. The EPA draft evaluation of pigment violet 29 concluded that the chemical posed no unreasonable risk.
The manufacturers of the pigment altered at least two of their study summaries to remove values that the Environmental Defense Fund had questioned. Sun Chemical makes the pigment in a plant in Goose Creek, S.C., where temporary employee Robert Isaac, 30, suffocated in November 2015 after he fell into a pigment blending tank.
“The TSCA method ignores significant scientific and internationally accepted rules and procedures for conducting systemic reviews, which will result in incomplete and biased chemical evaluations,” they wrote.
‘Our president is sick’: Trump hammered for ‘rancid racist’ attack on NASCAR’s Bubba Wallace
President Donald Trump lobbed an attack against Black NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace -- prompting horrified outrage.
The president demanded an apology from Wallace, after NASCAR launched an investigation of a noose found in the driver's garage that turned out to have been placed on the door months before he had used the facility, and the racing association outraged some fans by banning Confederate flags from events.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez swats down Kayleigh McEnany with a single tweet after being derided as a ‘Biden advisor’
Republicans are keen to tie Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) to former Vice President Joe Biden, believing that her Democratic Socialist platform will be a liability for the Democratic Party with moderate voters in November.
On Monday, during a White House briefing, Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany attempted this in an unsubtle manner:
This is how Rome’s republic died: An expert on ancient history reacts to Trump’s acquittal
The U.S. Senate has made its judgment in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, acquitting the president. Fifty two of 53 senators in the Republican majority voted to acquit the president on the abuse of power charge and all 53 Republican senators voted to acquit on the obstruction of Congress charge.
All 47 Democrats voted to convict the president on both charges. Senator Mitt Romney of Utah was the only Republican voting to convict for abuse of power.