Biden’s new EPA advisor helped DuPont dodge responsibility for PFOA, a cancer-causing “forever chemical” poisoning water supplies and humans around the world
President Joe Biden put a chemical industry insider on his Environmental Protection Agency transition team.
Before he became Biden’s advisor Michael McCabe, served as an advisor for DuPont.
Shortly after serving as the head of the EPA, under Clinton and Bush, McCabe decided to get a career in the private sector as legal counsel for DuPont.
He was lead attorney defending the chemical company when the EPA sued it in 2003 for dumping over 7000 tons of PFOA waste in West Virginia, where it made its way into the drinking water of 100,000 people.
PFOA, or perfluorooctanoic acid, is a highly toxic chemical found in everything from non-stick pans, to stain-resistant carpets and textiles, to food packaging.
Studies have linked it to kidney and testicular cancer, ulcerative colitis, thyroid disease, liver damage, birth defects, pregnancy-induced hypertension, high cholesterol, and decreased fertility.
As DuPont’s lawyer, “McCabe skillfully and successfully helped the giant corporation dodge the EPA’s efforts to set binding limits on the chemical,” The Intercept reports.
“McCabe’s team requested that the EPA issue reassuring statements about the safety of chemicals and products that contained PFOA. The EPA obliged.”
The legal battle over PFOA was the subject of the documentary film Dark Waters in 2019.
“It should go without saying that someone who advised DuPont on how to avoid regulations is not someone we want advising this new administration,” Brokovich says.
“Are we the people supposed to trust a former DuPont man in a transition team tasked with reviewing the Chemical Safety Board? Is this how the newly elected leadership wants to start what is supposed to be a healing and unifying administration?”
“This is not about being rightwing or leftwing. It doesn’t matter what side of the aisle you are on. We cannot keep making picks from this inside, leaving we the people, once again on the outside.”