A report cited by The Intercept that was released yesterday by the Environmental Protection Agency's inspector general shows that Trump administration officials withheld information about carcinogenic pollution from Illinois communities.
"Bill Wehrum, who served as assistant administrator of the office of Air and Radiation until 2019, kept information from residents of Willowbrook, Illinois, about results of air monitoring that showed they had an elevated risk of cancer due to ethylene oxide from a local sterilizing plant, according to the report, 'EPA Delayed Risk Communication and Issued Instructions Hindering Region 5's Ability to Address Ethylene Oxide Emissions,' which was produced in response to a request from Congress," The Intercept's Sharon Lerner reports.
Measurements of ethylene oxide around the since-closed plant were conducted in 2018 and showed an elevated risk of cancer due to the gas. In June, the regional administrator responsible for the area was shown the elevated cancer risk and was preparing to release the information to the public.
"But Wehrum, who was not mentioned by name but referred to as 'then-assistant administrator for air and radiation,' directed the regional administrator not to release the results to the public, according to the report," Lerner writes. "Before serving as head of EPA's Office of Air and Radiation, Wehrum was a lobbyist who represented chemical and oil companies."
Read the full report over at The Intercept.