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E.P.A. Shifts Chief Of Asbestos Unit; Motive Questioned

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Larry C. Dorsey, the chief of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (epa) asbestos-inspection program for schools, has been transferred from his position in the agency's office of toxic substances, the epa announced late last week.

Mr. Dorsey is now working in another division that is studying the effects of chlorofluorocarbons on the environment. His transfer was interpreted by some observers as evidence of the Reagan Administration's reluctance to press for new regulations requiring asbestos-inspection programs in every school in the country.

"If these people are serious about the proposed asbestos rule, then why are they shifting their top staff person to another area?" said one Congressional staffer who asked not to be identified.

Byron Nelson, a spokesman for the epa, denied that Mr. Dorsey's transfer signaled in any fashion the Administration's opposition to such a rule.

"The people who are saying that are just attempting to stir up a lot of trouble," Mr. Nelson said.

He declined, however, to explain why Mr. Dorsey was removed from his position in the asbestos unit, saying only that the agency is making a number of organizational changes. Mr. Dorsey could not be reached for comment.

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