June 18, 2020

Contact: Dana Johnson, 773-495-1677,

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation convened a hearing to consider nominees for key positions at several agencies including the Consumer Products Safety Commission. The Deep South Center for Environmental Justice and WE ACT for Environmental Justice are members of the Environmental Justice Leadership Forum and strongly oppose the confirmation of Nancy Beck, PhD as chair of the CPSC. We agree with U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell’s (D-WA) assessment that Dr. Beck has repeatedly sided with industry over the safety of American families and can be expected to continue to do so if appointed to this new role.

Below are our member statements:

“The people who are harmed most by Nancy Beck’s affinity for the chemicals industry are African Americans and other vulnerable populations. Our communities experience disproportionate exposure to toxic chemicals in the air we breathe, water we drink, and products we use, and Dr. Beck has a notorious track record of undermining the goals of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which establishes protections for “potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulations.” During her tenure with the Environmental Protection Agency, Dr. Beck repeatedly undermined TSCA protections for families living in the shadow of chemical manufacturing facilities. In addition, she disregarded the expertise of scientific and legal professionals within the EPA by rewriting policies for assessing the presence of toxic chemicals in the air, water, and soil to the detriment of communities where persistent environmental health disparities exist. We cannot afford to have someone who has repeatedly underestimated the effects and risks of the industrial manufacturing of toxic chemicals in our communities leading the agency that is our line of defense against toxic hazards. We urge members of the U.S. Senate to vote “no” on Dr. Beck’s nomination.” Monique Harden, Assistant Director of Law and Public Policy, Deep South Center for Environmental Justice

“Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of man-made chemicals that are a public health and environmental concern for all Americans. They have been linked to increased risk for cancer, thyroid disease, adverse pregnancy outcomes, and increased cholesterol levels. Americans that live in low-income neighborhoods or communities or color are at greater risk for being harmed by these toxic chemicals because we are more likely to live within five miles of a PFAS contaminated site. Dr. Beck had several opportunities to protect environmental justice communities from this toxic class of chemicals while serving at the Environmental Protection Agency and the White House. Instead she abdicated her responsibility in favor of preserving her ties to the chemicals industry. It is egregious that Dr. Beck has been nominated to head an agency established to ensure the safety of thousands of products when she knowingly interfered with the release of an EPA study on the health impacts of PFAS. Environmental justice communities face a variety of legacy harms and we will not tolerate a CPSC chair who has demonstrated a reluctance to protect this nation from dangerous chemicals. We are asking members of the U.S. Senate to vote “no” on the nomination of Dr. Beck to CSPC.” – Kerene N. Tayloe, Esq., Director of Federal Legislative Affairs, WE ACT for Environmental Justice.    – Kerene N. Tayloe, Esq., Director of Federal Legislative Affairs, WE ACT for Environmental Justice.  

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The Environmental Justice Leadership Forum is a national coalition of nearly 60 organizations in 24 states that work to ensure a diverse grassroots perspective is present in federal, state, and local policy decisions. Members are based in red, blue, and swing states including those in the Appalachia, Deep South, Extreme Northwest, Midwest, Northeast and Southwest regions and represent Black, Latinx, Indigenous and low-income White communities in large, midsize, and small cities. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

WE ACT for Environmental Justice is a Northern Manhattan membership-based organization whose mission is to build healthy communities by ensuring that people of color and/or low-income residents participate meaningfully in the creation of sound and fair environmental health and protection policies and practices. WE ACT has offices in New York and Washington, D.C.

The Deep South Center for Environmental Justice is dedicated to improving the lives of children and families harmed by pollution and vulnerable to climate change in the Gulf Coast Region through research, education, community and student engagement for policy change, as well as health and safety training for environmental careers.

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