The Environmental Protection Agency is facing a major new scandal after it worked with the White House to bury an alarming federal study detailing widespread chemical contamination of the nation’s water supply. One Trump administration official warned release of the study would create a “public relations nightmare.” The study found chemicals commonly present in Teflon and firefighting foam are a threat to human health at levels the EPA had previously called safe. We speak with Robert Bilott, the attorney The New York Times calls the “worst nightmare of DuPont,” the manufacturer of Teflon. He successfully won compensation for his clients whose drinking water had been contaminated by toxic chemicals used to make Teflon. He is a recipient of the 2017 Right Livelihood Award.
AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, Democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman.
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt faced lawmakers on Capitol Hill for a third time in less than a month as senators grilled him about a slew of scandals over his spending habits, ties to industry lobbyists and his deregulation of environmental protections.
Pruitt is currently facing about a dozen investigations, including into his $3 million security detail, his expensive first class travel, his below-market-value condo — which he rented from the wife of an energy lobbyist — and his other spending and ethics violations. Wednesday’s hearing came only two days after Politico reported the Environmental Protection Agency and the White House have suppressed publication of a federal health study on a national water contamination crisis.
The US Department of Health and Human Services study found the chemicals PFOA and PFOS, which are used in Teflon and firefighting foam, are unsafe for human health at levels the EPA had previously called safe. In other words, these chemicals are more dangerous than previously thought.
But internal emails, released after a Freedom of…