Dow Chemical Lawyer Eager to Set EPA Policy, Colleagues Say

Peter C. Wright, the Dow Chemical Co. lawyer President Donald Trump hopes to nominate to head EPA’s Superfund and waste office, is eager to set policy, his colleagues say.

“Peter’s always been interested in the policy aspects of environmental law, and having an opportunity to expand more into that type of policy implementation I think would be a natural fit,” John Milner, chairman of the American Bar Association’s Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, told Bloomberg Environment.

Wright had been appointed the section’s co-chair of strategic planning, a forward-looking position, Milner said.

But few details about Wright’s vision for the Environmental Protection Agency are public.

In a 2016 blog post about EPA waste cleanup efforts, Wright suggested the federal government didn’t need Superfund and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act programs or the Toxic Substances Control Act program for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

Because most cleanups are led by states, Wright said, delegating those programs to states could simplify them.

Wright, managing counsel at Dow, would serve as assistant EPA administrator for land and emergency management. The position is subject to Senate confirmation.

The office handles the agency’s contaminated land and waste programs including Superfund, brownfields, emergency cleanup, and underground storage tanks.

Rachelle Schikorra, a spokeswoman for Dow Chemical, told Bloomberg Environment that Wright was not available for an interview.

Larry Schnapf of Schnapf LLC, an environmental law firm, said Wright is “intimately familiar with the problems of Superfund and RCRA.”

“He’s going to be instrumental in carrying out the reforms,” Schnapf told Bloomberg Environment.