Larry Dorsey, who has been the Environmental Protection Agency's key person in the asbestos school inspection program since it began in 1978, has been transferred to a new position, where he'll be working on chlorofluorocarbons, not asbestos.

Critics on the Hill, as well as shaken staffers, say Dorsey, who was acting chief of the branch of the Office of Toxic Substances that handled asbestos, was transferred because he pushed too hard to get the school inspections under way.

Critics say the Office of Management and Budget is not thrilled with the program because it goes against the grain of "New Federalism" by requiring schools to do something that the administration thinks should be at their discretion.

The thrust of the inspections is to get school officials to check their buildings to see if students and employes are being exposed to asbestos, which has been linked to lung diseases.

The program already has been brushed with controversy in the Reagan administration. Last year, an EPA supporting document was purged of statistics on how many persons might be afflicted by disease from asbestos exposure. The change, congressional critics complained, removed any "sense of urgency."

Don Clay, director of the toxic substances office, declined to discuss Dorsey's case because of personnel privacy rules, but said the office was undergoing a considerable reorganization to improve operations.