WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following a blockbuster report by the New York Times which exposed the Trump administration’s efforts to revise the way the federal government evaluates the health and environmental risks of hazardous chemicals to prioritize the wishes of industry over health and safety, U.S. Senator Bob Menendez today called on the EPA Inspector General to immediately investigate political interference and scientific suppression in EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.

The full letter Sen. Menendez wrote to EPA Inspector General is below and here.

Inspector General Arthur A. Elkins, Jr.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Inspector General

1200 Pennsylvania Ave, NW (2410T)

Washington, DC 20460

Dear Inspector General Elkins:

I am writing to request that the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of the Inspector General initiate an investigation into a recent New York Times report detailing political interference, suppression of science, and prioritization of industry recommendations over public health in EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, and throughout the agency at large.

Specifically, I urge you to investigate reports of:

  • The suppression of science relating to the public health impacts of toxic and dangerous chemicals;
  • The use of “administratively determined” hiring practices, and the extent to which these practices are used to circumvent EPA’s ethics or conflict of interest standards; and
  • Deference to industry requests, rather than scientific and technical analysis, in the context of the agency’s rulemaking process.

EPA’s chemical safety work is essential to protecting human health in a society where interaction with chemicals is both pervasive and unavoidable. The public has the right to know whether EPA employees are working on their behalf, or the behalf of industries the agency purports to regulate. Thank you for your timely consideration of this request.


Robert Menendez
United States Senator