Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Business Digest

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Business Digest

Article excerpt

Former Monsanto lawyer picked for key EPA role * President Donald Trump has picked a chemical industry insider to run the Environmental Protection Agency office that oversees emergency response to hazardous spills and cleanups of the nation's most toxic sites.

The White House announced Friday that Trump has nominated Peter C. Wright to serve as EPA's assistant administrator for Land and Emergency Management.

Wright has worked as a corporate lawyer at Dow Chemical Co. since 1999. According to his LinkedIn page, Wright also was an attorney at Bryan Cave in the 1990s and an attorney at Creve Coeur-based Monsanto from 1989 to 1996.

If confirmed by the Senate, Wright would oversee the EPA office with oversight of the Superfund hazardous waste cleanup program.

Dow merged with rival Dupont last year, producing the world's largest chemical maker.

Companies are responsible for cleaning up toxic sites where they caused pollution.

Asked about potential conflicts of interest, an EPA spokesman said Wright would meet with the agency's ethics office.

J.C. Penney cuts jobs * Department store chain J.C. Penney says it has cut 360 jobs and reported disappointing sales at established stores for the quarter that includes the holiday season.

The news Friday overshadowed strong profits as investors worried about Penney's ability to remake itself in a changing retail market especially after the good economy contributed to stronger results at chains such as Macy's and Kohl's.

J.C. Penney eliminated 130 positions across all departments at its Plano, Texas, headquarters, and said restructuring regional, district and store support teams to eliminate bureaucracy led to 230 job cuts. It estimated the cuts will save it $20 million to $25 million a year. It also made changes to its executive team.

CEO Marvin Ellison told analysts Friday that the company had earmarked 300 mall locations where it would aggressively beef up appliances, mattresses, furniture, and workwear such as overalls. …

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