U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., and Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., have expressed opposition toward Michael Dourson, President Donald Trump’s nominee to oversee chemical safety for the Environmental Protection Agency.
Trump announced the nomination in July, and the nomination was confirmed by the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on Oct. 25. A Senate-wide vote confirming Dourson’s nomination has yet to be scheduled.
Dourson is a professor of toxicology at the University of Cincinnati and is currently working as a senior advisor to EPA administrator Scott Pruitt. Through his nonprofit, Toxicology Excellence for Risk Assessment, Dourson has published numerous reports on safety limits for hazardous chemicals.
The EPA published a press release following Dourson’s nomination citing letters from Dourson’s peers praising his work. Among these was Jay Goodman, a professor of pharmacology and toxicology at Michigan State University. In his letter, Goodman said Dourson’s successful career — centered around the risk-assessment of chemicals and science-based safety — makes him the ideal candidate to head the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention with the EPA.