Axios/David Shirk -3.30am EDT Washington (AP) Trump’s top Cabinet picks are expected to continue to defend the industry against any new regulations that would require them to remove the insulation that shields asbestos from being inhaled.
The White House on Thursday gave no details on the candidates’ stances on the matter.
But a former senior EPA official said the White House was likely to continue its position that the insulation is a “viable” option.
The National Association of Home Builders, which represents the insulation industry, has pushed the Trump administration to take the lead on a federal plan to crack down on asbestos.
But the Trump White House and EPA have so far refrained from proposing new rules to remove asbestos, despite pleas from the industry.
Trump is expected to nominate three members of his Cabinet to the EPA, including Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, who has long advocated for the removal of asbestos.
The administration could be expected to make a decision on the proposed rule at the EPA’s May 18 meeting, but a spokeswoman for the agency said no decision had been made.EPA spokeswoman Katie Hickey said that the agency had not yet made a decision.
The Trump administration is likely to adopt a “dramatic shift” from its approach toward asbestos that began under President George W. Bush and has been criticized by environmental groups.
“We’ve done what we needed to do to reduce emissions and protect Americans, and that’s to get rid of the insulation in homes that has been implicated in the spread of asbestos,” Hickey told reporters.
Housing and environmental advocates say the EPA should focus on building codes that limit the spread and spread of the asbestos-containing material.
But some members of the industry, including industry leaders and members of Congress, have criticized the EPA for not taking a stronger stance.
“They’re going to continue on the path of continuing to use their regulatory power to get us to do nothing about asbestos,” said Ken Salzman, the head of the Home Build and Contractors Association.