“A former chemical industry lobbyist who was recently appointed as regional administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency has been barred from overseeing a range of vital issues in New England because of conflicts of interest that could compromise his public duties.
Dennis Deziel, who spent five years as director of federal government affairs for Dow Chemical Co. before his appointment in August, must recuse himself from decisions involving nearly one-fifth of the region’s Superfund toxic waste sites, the agency’s ethics office has said.
Dow is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of chemicals and has a history of violating environmental rules.
He is also barred from working on issues involving two other large toxic cleanups in the region, matters pertaining to 14 major chemical companies, and a range of other issues, from a prominent energy efficiency program to a federal law that regulates toxic substances.
The scope of Deziel’s entanglements has alarmed environmental groups, who say his years at Dow potentially undermine his ability to regulate certain industries.”
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