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Senate schedules Dunn hearing amid potential EPA shifts

People – Alexandra Dunn EPA

The US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) will hold a 29 November hearing and vote on the nomination of Alexandra Dapolito Dunn to the role of assistant administrator for the toxics division at the EPA.

Ms Dunn is being considered to lead the agency’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP), the EPA confirmed in September. The entire Senate will subsequently vote on the nomination.

Ms Dunn serves as an administrator for Regional Administrator for EPA Region 1 and previously represented state environmental agencies, taught environmental justice and worked as counsel to industry.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump said he plans to nominate Andrew Wheeler, acting EPA chief, to permanently lead the agency. If nominated, Mr Wheeler will go through a similar Senate confirmation process and vote.

Mr Wheeler started his career at the EPA, where he worked on toxic substances policy. He has also worked as a coal industry lobbyist, which spurred controversy.

"Whether or not he’s confirmed by the Senate to be the next administrator, when [Mr] Wheeler’s time at EPA ends, more children will have been exposed to dangerous pollutants," the Environmental Working Group (EWG) said.

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