- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 13, 2017

President Trump’s highly controversial choice to lead the Environmental Protection Agency’s chemical safety office withdrew Wednesday night amid bipartisan opposition.

Michael Dourson, nominated to lead the agency’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, pulled his name from consideration after it became clear he was unlikely to be confirmed by the full Senate.

Mr. Dourson was approved by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in October in a party-line vote, with Democrats charging that his previous work as a toxicologist for major chemical companies created a massive conflict of interest that should disqualify him from the post.

Citing an anonymous White House official, the Associated Press reported the development Wednesday evening.

Mr. Dourson’s nomination to lead the chemical office — which plays the lead role in overseeing EPA’s regulatory efforts on pesticides and other chemicals — was thrown into doubt after at least two Republican senators last month said they’d vote against him.

Environmental groups cheered the news.

“This is a victory for all children, workers, and communities who deserve the strongest protections from exposure to toxic chemicals and pesticides, and for all those who rose up against the unconscionable nomination of Michael Dourson,” said Andrea Delgado, legislative director for Earthjustice. “From Arizona to North Carolina and Alaska to Maine, communities deserve someone who will protect our families from carcinogens and neurodevelopmentally toxic chemicals.”

• Ben Wolfgang can be reached at bwolfgang@washingtontimes.com.

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