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This toxic lobbyist should not be in charge of consumer safety

Supporters Spoke up in this Action
Delivery to U.S. Senate

What Happens Next

Nancy Beck will not be seated on the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Earthjustice supporters were critical in the effort to stop her, as our pressure successfully delayed her confirmation indefinitely.

What was at Stake

We need to be certain that the federal government places impartial professionals in the crucial offices tasked with protecting public health and safety. Yet chemical corporations and their allies in this administration are rushing to install Nancy Beck — another industry lobbyist — as chair of a key agency charged with protecting consumers from products containing toxic chemicals. Beck’s career shows that she’s tied to harmful corporate interests, yet she is one step away from a seat on the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) — so we need your help now.

As a key Bush and Trump administration official and a lobbyist for the chemical industry’s powerful special interest group the American Chemistry Council, Beck has spent her career undermining protections against dangerous chemicals like cancer-causing PFAS that have contaminated drinking water across the country.

The CPSC is required by federal law to stop the sale of products containing dangerous toxins, yet Nancy Beck and her organization lobbied time and again to loosen or block safeguards protecting families and first responders from exposure to harmful chemicals. Her organization challenged a ban on phthalates, a class of hormone-disrupting chemicals that are associated with severe reproductive health problems but still used in products such as food packaging. Beck also lobbied against tougher restrictions on asbestos and cancer-causing solvents.

Nancy Beck’s career confirms that she cannot be trusted to protect us from products containing toxic chemicals. That’s why it’s so important to defeat her nomination. If confirmed, Beck will have the authority to thwart Earthjustice’s petition before the CPSC calling for a ban on hazardous flame retardants linked to reduced IQ in children, endocrine and thyroid disruption, and cancer. We can’t afford to risk the health of children and first responders -- or anyone -- on a Nancy Beck tenure at CPSC.

Justin T. Gellerson / New York Times via Redux

Nancy Beck, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, makes opening remarks at a PPDC meeting hosted at EPA headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, on November 1, 2017.

Your Actions Matter

Your messages make a difference, even if we have leaders who don't want to listen. Here's why.

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You level the playing field.

Elected officials pay attention when they see that we are paying attention.

They may be hearing from industry lobbyists left and right, but hearing the stories of their constituents — that’s your power.

Our legislators serve at the pleasure of the people who gave them their job — you. When you contact your elected official, you’re putting a face and a name on an issue. Whether or not you voted for them, they work for you, for the duration of their term.

Make sure your elected officials know whose community and whose values they represent. (Find your local, state, and federal elected officials.)

Your action is with us in court.

If a federal agency finalizes a harmful action, the record of public comments provides a basis for bringing them into court.

Throughout each of the public comment periods we alert you to, Earthjustice’s attorneys are researching and writing in-depth, technical comments to submit — detailing how the regulation could and should be stronger to protect the environment, our communities, and our planet.

We need you to join us — your specific experiences, knowledge, and voice are crucial to add to the Administrative Record through the comment periods.

Lawsuits we file that challenge weak or harmful federal regulations rely on what was submitted during the comment period. The court can only look at documents that are in the Administrative Record — including the public comments — to decide if the agency did something improper.

Your actions aid our litigation. Taking action and submitting comments during a comment period is substantively important.

It’s the law.

Federal agencies must pause what they’re doing and ask for — and consider — your comment.

Many of us may have never heard of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), but laws like these require our government to ask the public to weigh in before agencies adopt or change regulations.

Regulations essentially describe how federal agencies will carry out laws — including decisions that could undermine science, or weaken safeguards on public health.

Public comments are collected at various points throughout the federal government’s rulemaking process, including when a regulation is proposed and finalized. (Learn more about the rulemaking process.) These comments become part of the official, legal public record — the “Administrative Record.”

When the public responds with a huge outpouring of support for environmental protections, these individual messages collectively undercut politicians' attempts to claim otherwise.

What this means is each of us can take a role in shaping the rules our government creates — and ensuring those rules are fair and effective.