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Trump taps chemical company lawyer to lead EPA Superfund office

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Trump taps chemical company lawyer to lead EPA Superfund office

President Trump is nominating a senior attorney at Dow Chemical Co. to lead the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) office responsible for highly contaminated Superfund sites.

Peter Wright would lead the EPA’s Office of Land and Emergency Management if confirmed by the Senate, the White House announced Friday.

The office’s responsibilities include the Superfund program, the brownfield program for redeveloping sites, emergency response operations, landfill regulation and underground storage tanks.

“Peter is exceptionally qualified to lead the Office of Land and Emergency Management,” EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said in a statement. “He has the expertise and experience necessary to implement our ambitious goals for cleaning up the nation’s contaminated lands quickly and thoroughly.”

Pruitt has made the Superfund program a priority for his time at the EPA. The agency currently has than 1,300 sites on its priority list, and Pruitt has accused the Obama administration of not doing enough to clean them up.

If confirmed, Wright would potentially be overseeing sites that Dow is responsible for cleaning up. The EPA has identified contaminated sites in California, Michigan and elsewhere as places that Dow is potentially responsible for.

Ethics guidelines may require Wright to recuse himself from matters relating to Dow, which merged last year with DuPont Co.

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