February 12, 2018
Under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”), 5 U.S.C. § 552, CREW requests:
- Copies of all waivers EPA has issued to Dr. Nancy B. Beck pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 208(b) since her appointment in May 2017, and copies of all authorizations to participate EPA has issued to Dr. Beck pursuant to 5 C.F.R. § 2635.502 since May 1, 2017.
- All communications to or from Dr. Beck pertaining to all waivers or authorizations to participate Dr. Beck has requested and all waivers or authorizations to participate EPA has issued since Dr. Beck’s appointment in May 2017.
EPA already has come under criticism for questionable ethics waivers it granted to Dr. Beck and other EPA staff. Directly before joining the EPA, Dr. Beck served for five years as an executive at the American Chemistry Council (“ACC”). Once at EPA’s toxic chemical unit as a top deputy, Dr. Beck demanded revisions to more than a dozen regulations, including a revision that makes it more difficult to track the health consequences of the chemical perfluorooctanoic acid. The EPA’s ethics official authorized Dr. Beck to participate in this and other rulemaking matters involving the ACC notwithstanding her apparent conflicts of interest.
Given the questions Dr. Beck’s participation in these and any other matters involving the ACC raise and her apparent conflicts of interest, the public has a clear and overwhelming right to information that would shed light on whether and why Dr. Beck’s continued participation has been authorized.
Click here to read the FOIA request.
Update: On March 14, 2018, CREW received an email response from the EPA. With respect to the first part of CREW’s request, the email stated that the EPA has not issued any financial conflict of interest waivers to Dr. Beck pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 208(b)(1) and that the EPA has released the two authorizations (impartiality determinations) issued to Dr. Beck as responsive records for another FOIA request. (EPA-HQ-2017-008283). Click here to read the first impartiality determination dated June 8, 2017. Click here to read the second one, dated January 11, 2018.