I’m writing to ask Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King to take a stand against Michael Dourson, President Trump’s pick to lead the Environmental Protection Agency’s chemical safety program.

Dourson has already faced significant opposition from Democrats and public health advocates for his involvement in a consulting group that defended the use of certain chemicals. Dourson and others claim these chemicals are safe even though they’re associated with serious health issues such as cancer, birth defects and developmental problems.

When it comes to chemicals such as these, we need vigilant oversight and continued focus on regulations. The goal should be to keep people safe, but I worry that safety will not be Dourson’s priority.

I am also concerned that even after Dourson faced sharp criticism and heavy opposition during his confirmation hearing, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt went ahead and hired him as a top adviser in the EPA. Someone this contentious should not be allowed to work for a government organization until his appointment is confirmed.

Neither Sen. Collins nor Sen. King has made a statement about where they stand on Dourson. I know, though, that both support having clean air and water, and they want to preserve the natural beauty of our state.

I hope they will continue to advocate for the people of Maine, and the land that makes it so special, by opposing Dourson’s nomination.

Erica L. Bartlett

Portland