The Trump administration's plan to bring back asbestos is right in line with Trumpist ideology that any science that interferes with profits is a hoax (Trump claims that the asbestos-cancer link is a conspiracy to help the mafia make money on asbestos removal contracts), and the fact that the leading Russian asbestos company (which has ties to Putin) put Trump's face on their packaging is just an extra too-shitty-to-be-true detail for all of us to ponder as we die of mesothelioma in a few years.
The New York Times has obtained a trove of internal EPA memos showing that the agency's own staff are just as frightened and upset by this reckless maneuver as the rest of us.
"Upper management asked us to take a different approach," wrote Robert T. Courtnage, an associate chief in E.P.A.'s Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, in an April 25 email sent to 13 members of an agency group working on the then-forthcoming proposal. Specifically: Rather than call for all new uses of asbestos to come before the E.P.A. for a risk review, the rule would include just 15 specific uses that would trigger a federal assessment.
E.P.A. Staff Objected to Agency's New Rules on Asbestos Use, Internal Emails Show [Lisa Friedman/NY Times]