Trump’s nominee to run the Department of the Interior, David Bernhardt, helped block the release of a major report that found that two pesticides threaten 1,200 endangered plants and animals, according to the The New York Times. The report, from the Fish and Wildlife Service, determined that two pesticides are so toxic that they “jeopardize the continued existence” of endangered animals and plants, a conclusion that could lead to tighter chemical restrictions. Just before the findings were about to be made public in November 2017, top political appointees of the Interior Department blocked the release and set in motion a new process that would narrow standards that determine the risks of pesticides. Leading that intervention was Bernhardt, then deputy secretary of the interior. In October 2017, he orchestrated the move for the Fish and Wildlife Service to take the new approach, one that pesticide producers had lobbied to promote. The Senate is scheduled to hold a hearing on Bernhardt’s confirmation to interior secretary on Thursday.
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