“The head of a federal health agency tasked with assessing the risks chemicals pose to Americans was added last minute to a list of speakers scheduled to present next week at a national conference on perfluorinated chemicals, hosted by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The addition comes in the midst of national scrutiny of the EPA, after emails released this week appeared to show high-ranking officials working with White House and Department of Defense officials to suppress a draft report authored by the health agency. The individual added to the list of speakers, Patrick Breysse, director of the Agency of Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, apparently did not provide a full copy of the draft study to officials when asked in January, according to the emails…

The emails are embarrassing for the EPA, as administrator Scott Pruitt has sought to make the chemicals a priority. In March, the agency announced the May 22 and 23 PFAS summit, which it said will bring together state and federal agencies to share information, identify short-term actions needed to address contamination, and develop communication strategies to ‘address public concerns.’ The summit is not open to the press or public…

In a summit agenda posted to the EPA’s website earlier this week and copied by this news organization, 14 speakers from state and federal agencies were listed, including multiple from EPA and one from DOD. Not included were any speakers from ATSDR.

In a new version posted online and dated May 16, one change is made: Breysse was added, swapping in for Eric Burneson, director of the Standards and Risk Management Division in the EPA’s Office of Water. Breysse is now scheduled to speak on Tuesday on a ‘Communicating PFAS’ panel, along with speakers from the Natural Resources Defense Council and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

Moderating the panel is Peter Grevatt, head of the EPA’s drinking water program. Grevatt is among the EPA officials communicating in the January emails, although he was not copied on the ‘nightmare’ email. A question and answer session is scheduled to follow their discussion.”

Read the full article by Kyle Bagenstose