The Clean Water Blog

EPA office building

Get to know the “Dirty Deputies”

Today the Senate is considering nomination for four top positions at EPA. All four have close ties to the chemical and fossil fuel industries, and all four are committed to rolling back programs that keep our water clean or protect our families from toxic chemicals.

Michael Dourson, the nominee to head EPA's chemical safety program, spent decades producing industry-funded research that downplays the health risks of chemical substances.

Matt Leopold, the nominee to be EPA’s top legal counsel, is an industry lawyer who has been a staunch critic of landmark environmental policies like Clean Power Plan and the Clean Water Rule.

David Ross, the nominee to lead EPA's Office of Water, sued EPA over the Clean Water Rule & the Chesapeake Bay cleanup plan while he was a fossil fuel industry lawyer.

Bill Wehrum, the nominee to lead EPA's clean air program, is a corporate attorney for coal, oil, gas and chemical companies and trade associations that oppose EPA clean air rules. Wehrum was previously nominated for this position in the George W. Bush administration, but the nomination was withdrawn due to Senate opposition over Wehrum's record.

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, who is on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee that is considering these nominees, expressed his concern over these nominees: “Regulators who are in the tank won’t do their jobs. If we continue to look the other way when nominees like this come before the Senate, we can expect scandals and recurring disasters in the future.”