EPA nominee Scott Pruitt admits he knows nothing about lead poisoning

Scott Pruitt, nominee for EPA administrator

President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency acknowledged Wednesday that he doesn’t know the acceptable levels of lead consumption for children.

The answer is zero. Environmental officials made that clear – again and again – after thousands of children were exposed to elevated levels of lead in Flint over the past few years.

During Scott Pruitt’s confirmation hearing Wednesday, Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) referred to the Flint water crisis and asked Pruitt what he knew about lead poisoning in children.

“That’s something I have not reviewed nor know about,” Pruitt answered. “I have not looked at the scientific research.”

If confirmed, Pruitt will lead the EPA, the federal agency tasked with protecting the nation’s water and air. 

Many Democrats and scientists have expressed serious concerns about Pruitt’s record on the environment. Pruitt, who has close ties to the oil and gas industry, has sued the EPA more than a dozen times as Oklahoma attorney general.

The former state lawmaker has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the fossil fuel industry, including from political action committees tied to ExxonMobil and Koch Industries.

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.