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You are here News Environment Trump appointees barred EPA staff from warning Senate about ‘forever chemical’ loophole: Internal staff messages

Trump appointees barred EPA staff from warning Senate about ‘forever chemical’ loophole: Internal staff messages

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Forever chemicals on waterTrump administration officials barred experts from warning legislators that they were about to write a major environmental loophole into law, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) staffers alleged in newly revealed internal communications.

The loophole,  arising from a clause in the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), enabled many companies to avoid disclosing releases of toxic “forever chemicals” to the EPA.

Internal EPA correspondence obtained by The Hill shows that career staff members attempted to make Congress aware of the issue, but they believe their efforts were rebuffed by political appointees.

One employee lamented that career staff “had tried to tell” the Senate about the problem, but he could not get approval to do so.

The clause at issue, written by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (SEPW), said on Jan. 1, 2020, some of the chemicals — also known as PFAS — must be included in the EPA’s reporting database for toxic chemical releases: the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI).

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