EPA Administrator Makes Senate Oversight Appearance

Feb 9, 2018

The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) recently held a full committee hearing to receive testimony from Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt.

In an opening statement from Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY), Pruitt was praised for taking bold steps to protect the environment without hurting the economy, particularly in implementing the Clean Air Act and in repealing the Waters of the United States Rule.

In contrast, Ranking Member Thomas Carper (D-DE) excoriated Pruitt on his record at EPA. Carper criticized the EPA’s swift action last year to repeal the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan and Waters of the United States rules, arguing the agency has not put forward any credible alternative policy. Carper similarly took issue with Administrator Pruitt’s efforts to discredit climate science at EPA, calling the effort “the height of irresponsibility,” and chastised Pruitt for taking credit for environmental progress achieved by the Obama Administration, such as recently completed Superfund clean-ups. Last year, EPA requested a 30 percent budget cut for the Superfund cleanup program. 

In testimony before the Committee, Administrator Pruitt argued that, “EPA, under my direction, has established priorities for advancing progress over the next three years in each of its core mission areas—land, air, water—as well as chemicals. The Agency will focus on speeding the cleanup of toxic Superfund sites. We will work with our state partners to more rapidly review submissions of state implementation plans for attaining air quality standards, reducing harmful contaminants that can cause or exacerbate health issues. We will work to make water cleaner and safer by helping to update our nations aging infrastructure, both for drinking water as well as wastewater systems.”

To view an archived webcast of the full hearing, visit:  https://www.epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/hearings?ID=8E3E883C-477F-4A6A-9F1E-1DDAADBDAF32