Notes from the Kakistocracy: Andrew Wheeler just might be an idiot


Asking Chemours to make a newer, safer forever chemical:

Andrew Wheeler, the administrator of the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), said on Monday the Chemours Co. chemical plant near Fayetteville should switch production to a newer, less dangerous form of the controversial PFAS chemical.

The roundtable is being held by U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson, R-N.C. The meeting includes several local elected officials, a Cumberland County deputy manager, and members of the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) were invited, officials said later Monday.

Guess what, Einstein? GenX is the newer and supposedly safer chemical. It was developed to replace C8, after DuPont lost a massive lawsuit related to the contamination of the Ohio River and the poisoning of local residents:

DuPont's own documentation specified that C8 was not to be flushed into surface waters, but the company did so for decades. The chemical seeped into the water supplies of the communities of Lubeck and Little Hocking, immediately west of Parkersburg, and the city of Belpre, Ohio, just across the river; and three other water systems.

In 2004, DuPont paid $70 million in a class-action lawsuit and agreed to install filtration plants in the affected water districts. In 2005, it reached a $16.5 million settlement with the EPA for violations of the Toxic Substances Control Act.

A collective decision was made to use the money won in the class-action suit to conduct an epidemiological study in which nearly 70,000 of the 80,000 plaintiffs stopped into one of six clinics set up throughout the community, provided their medical histories and offered their blood. They were each paid $400.

A science panel, comprised of public health scientists appointed by DuPont and lawyers representing the community, was convened to examine the immense database. In 2012, after seven years of study, the panel released a report documenting a probable link between C8 and six conditions: testicular cancer, kidney cancer, thyroid disease, ulcerative colitis, pregnancy-induced hypertension and high cholesterol.

As you can see from the timeline, Bush's EPA only took action after citizens went to court to protect themselves. I expect even less action from Trump's EPA, regardless of the lies Wheeler tosses around:

The EPA in 2009 ordered Chemours’ predecessor at the Fayetteville Works plant, DuPont, to eliminate 99% of its PFAS discharges. But the EPA failed to send that order to its field staff — the people who would conduct inspections to ensure compliance. Wheeler said the EPA has changed its management practices to prevent such mistakes from happening again.

No, you haven't. In fact, you have gutted regulatory oversight of chemical manufacturers to the very bone:

Just before the holidays, Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency quietly threw out regulations protecting an estimated 177 million Americans who live and work near dangerous chemical plants. The EPA’s move came just 22 days after horrendous fire and multiple explosions 95 miles east of Houston threatened thousands.

The Chemical Disaster Rule, written under former President Barack Obama, covered about 12,500 industrial facilities nationwide using or storing highly hazardous chemicals. It included safeguards such as requiring an independent party to investigate spills and explosions and plant owners to keep safety information current.

Thirteen environmental groups, including the Sierra Club and Air Alliance Houston, sued the EPA over gutting the Chemical Disaster Rule.

The EPA previously calculated that its protections before the rule failed to prevent more than 2,200 chemical fires, explosions, leaks and other incidents during a 10-year period, including about 150 a year that caused injuries.

Bolding mine. Industry "self-reporting" is at best a joke, and at worst a lethal mistake. But that's what you get with a Kakistocracy.



Doesn't get much more "Trumpian" than this

Hat-tip to Lisa Sorg for exposing this local idiot:

Cumberland County Commissioner Michael C. Boose even posited that GenX is good for you. “No one knows,” he said. “Some people wonder, is GenX making them live longer? Is it curing vision problems? There’s so much mystery about it.”

"Some people wonder" is vintage Trump, a set-up for wild speculation about the causes (or cures) for society's problems. Of course said people are never named, because they usually don't exist. Come on, Cumberland County. You can do better than that just by grabbing some random person off the street as a Commissioner.