Press Releases

CEH Statement on Withdrawal of Dourson Nomination

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 13, 2017

Contact: Ansje Miller, CEH, (510)379-8449
Zack Kaldveer, CEH, (510)938-2664

Today, after six months of vocal opposition from across environmental, labor, and civic organizations, the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee withdrew the nomination of Michael Dourson to lead the toxics program at the EPA. CEH applauds the EPW’s decision to withdraw this candidate, who has a history of weakening standards for toxic chemicals to the detriment of people’s health.

We should feel confident knowing that the water we drink, the air that we breathe and the products we use every day won’t make us sick or cause cancer. Keeping Michael Dourson, friend to big tobacco and chemical companies, out of the EPA is a momentous step towards preserving the health of all Americans.

“Dourson’s withdrawal demonstrates that our health is more important than partisan politics,” said Ansje Miller, CEH Policy Director. “Across the country, citizens are making it clear that an EPA run by people with questionable ties to corporate polluters is unacceptable.”

CEH extends a vote of thanks to the Democratic members of the EPW, North Carolina’s two senators, and the hundreds of thousands of people across the U.S. who publicly rejected Michael Dourson to work for the EPA.

This is the first of many moves needed to reclaim the integrity of the EPA. While Dourson has now been rejected as unfit for the role, there are additional protections still needed to ensure the EPA can fulfill its mission–to protect the health of people and the environment. This includes ensuring that Michael Dourson does not work in any capacity for the EPA as staff or consultant, that staff who have received donations or compensation by chemical companies recuse themselves from decisions involving toxic chemicals produced by their former donors and clients, and that rules issued by the EPA are designed to protect the health of the many Americans who live near toxic facilities, drink polluted water and use every day products with untested chemicals.