(LibertySociety.com) – The Biden administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has come into the spotlight after testimony and metadata suggested the agency appeared to manufacture a fake paper trail, according to Fox News. Michael Morton, who works as an EPA Region 6 science liaison to the agency’s Office of Research and Development (ORD), testified that he did not write a 2021 email that came from his email address to the ORD. The email prompted the agency to cancel plans for a new scientific review of chloroprene emissions from the manufacturing of neoprene, which is a synthetic rubber used in medical and military technology and equipment. It is also used to make wetsuits.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit against Denka Performance Elastomer (DPE) in early 2023 to force the company to reduce chloroprene emissions at its LaPlace, Louisiana, facility. The lawsuit claimed that residents at the nearby Saint John the Baptist Parish faced an increased risk of cancer due to the chloroprene emissions. Notably, the Louisiana Tumor Registry’s data shows that the region where DPE is located has one of the lowest cancer rates in the state. Shortly after filing the lawsuit, the DOJ sought a preliminary injunction to shut down the facility if it did not immediately begin implementing measures to reduce chloroprene emissions. DPE responded to the filing and accused the EPA of using fake science to justify the lawsuit and exceeding its authority under the Clean Air Act. DPE also said that the lawsuit was politically motivated. The company also said that it was in compliance with environmental permits and had already reduced its chloroprene emissions.
In April 2021, the EPA’s Region 6 nominated chloroprene for a new review to reevaluate the health risks associated with its emissions. The agency’s ORD ultimately canceled the review and used Morton’s email as justification. DPE also submitted the metadata from the email with Morton’s testimony, which suggested that the email did not come from Region 6. According to Fox News, this seemed to indicate that the ORD authored the email and sent it to itself from Morton’s email address. Morton told DPE lawyers, “I didn’t write that,” adding, “I don’t know who wrote that.” The lawsuit, if successful, could result in the loss of jobs, revenue, and supply chain disruptions to the petrochemical industry.
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