Muckraker: Grist on PoliticsSens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) sent a letter to EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson today, calling for information about the circumstances surrounding the ouster of Mary Gade, the administrator of the agency’s Midwest regional office. Gade was allegedly fired after attempting to force Dow Chemical to clean up dioxin pollution around the company’s Midland, Mich., plant.

Whitehouse and Boxer had 21 questions for Johnson regarding Gade’s resignation, ranging from requests for her most recent performance evaluations to the more explicit, “Did you or anyone at EPA discuss the possibility of Ms. Gade’s removal, resignation, or disciplining at any time with any agent, employee or representative of Dow?”

From the letter:

As you know, Congress and the American people expect EPA to enforce vigorously our public health protections — and to preserve the integrity of the enforcement program by excluding politics from such activities. …

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Against the backdrop of allegations of political intervention in EPA decision-making that have been aired at recent hearings before this Committee, as well as similar allegations that we have heard from EPA staff and seen widely reported in the media, it is important for there to be a full explanation of the circumstances surrounding Ms. Gade’s allegedly forced resignation.