EPA Staff Objected To Agency’s New Rules on Asbestos Use, Internal Emails Show

Top officials at the Environmental Protection Agency pushed through a measure to review applications for using asbestos in consumer products, and did so over the objections of E.P.A.’s in-house scientists and attorneys, internal agency emails show. From a report: The clash over the proposal exposes the tensions within the E.P.A. over the Trump administration’s efforts to roll back environmental rules and rewrite other regulations that industries have long fought. Asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral and known carcinogen, was once common in insulation and fireproofing materials, but today most developed countries ban it. The United States still allows limited use in products including gaskets, roofing materials and sealants. The proposed new rule would create a new process for regulating uses of asbestos, something the E.P.A. is obliged to do under a 2016 amendment to a toxic substances law.

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