EPA emails reveal talks between Trump officials, chemical group before 2017 settlement

Read the full story from The Hill.

When the chemical company Brenntag received a fine in 2017, the National Association of Chemical Distributors asked for help from two new Trump administration appointees who previously worked in chemical lobbying, according to emails obtained by The Hill through a Freedom of Information Act request.

The two appointees were Mandy Gunasekara, a former NACD lobbyist who is now chief of staff at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Nancy Beck, former senior director at the American Chemistry Council. Beck, now detailed at the White House, has been nominated by President Trump to lead the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Brenntag was ultimately fined, although the penalty it received was roughly 20 percent lower than the one initially proposed by the EPA. 

Documents state that the EPA had originally proposed a $19,410 penalty.

It was eventually settled for $15,591 according to an EPA spokesperson.

While former EPA officials told The Hill they didn’t think the changed settlement figure was out of the ordinary, the correspondence between an industry executive and former industry officials who landed jobs in the administration underscores what critics say is a cozy relationship between business groups and Trump officials.

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