Trump officials worried about PR ‘nightmare’ over chemicals pollution

Emails among U.S. government officials show the Trump administration trying to manage a potentially damaging report on a class of chemicals found to have polluted water supplies near U.S. military installations.

The exchanges, sent in January, reveal officials by the Environmental Protection Agency in addition to Office of Management in addition to Budget worrying over a yet-to-be-released study by the Department of Health in addition to Human Services. The draft report by HHS indicated which exposure to the chemicals in question will be unsafe in far lower amounts than EPA previously determined.

One OMB official warned of a “public relations nightmare” when the report will be released. The emails were unearthed through a Freedom of Information Act request by the Union of Concerned Scientists. Three in addition to a half months later, the report has yet to be made public.

The chemicals, widely known as PFOS in addition to PFOA, were found in drinking water or groundwater in quantities which exceeded amounts deemed safe by EPA near 126 military facilities, the Department of Defense said in a study in May. The perflourinated compounds, present in a firefighting foam used by the military, have been linked in some studies to prostate, kidney in addition to testicular cancer, as well as to fertility problems in addition to developmental delays in fetuses in addition to children, according to the Defense Department report.

The draft HHS report alarmed administration officials because the idea concluded there will be a minimal risk associated with exposure to the chemicals at levels as low as 12 parts per trillion.

Those concerns are laid out in an email by James Herz, associate director for Natural Resources, Energy in addition to Science at White House Office of Management in addition to Budget, to EPA Chief Financial Officer Holly Greaves.

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