In Meeting with EPA Enforcement Nominee, Carper Raises Concerns about Agency’s Continued Failure to Respond to Congressional Requests

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, released the following statement regarding his meeting with Susan Bodine, President Trump’s nominee to serve as Assistant Administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. Her confirmation hearing, originally scheduled to take place today, has been postponed until June 13th.

“Yesterday, I had the opportunity to sit down with Ms. Bodine, President Trump’s nominee to serve as the head of the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance at the EPA. Right now, this position is more important than ever, as reports emerge that oil and gas companies are no longer willing to be subject to ‘vigorous enforcement’ for Clean Air Act violations under Administrator Pruitt’s watch and as President Trump proposes to cut the agency’s enforcement office budget by 24 percent. I raised these concerns with the nominee and expressed my firm belief that EPA and states across the country should have the ability and resources to fully enforce the environmental laws and protections that keep Americans safe.

“Certainly, Ms. Bodine’s resume is helpful. With over a decade of experience in the House and Senate and time spent working in the Bush Administration, I believe she understands the relationship that should exist between the separate, but equal branches of our government. Ms. Bodine has also served as counsel to two chairmen of this committee, both of whom have taken their oversight roles very seriously. As such, I raised with her my serious concerns regarding the lack of adequate answers we have received from Mr. Pruitt, the last EPA nominee this committee considered. Specifically, I noted the multiple letters from EPW members that have still received no response, including an inquiry on EPA’s enforcement activities. I do not believe her Senate bosses would stand for such blatant disregard from an agency, and Democratic members will not either.

“Until members of this committee receive adequate responses from Mr. Pruitt so that we can all exercise our oversight responsibilities, I feel I have no choice but to oppose the consideration of any additional EPA nominees. I stand ready to work with Chairman Barrasso to resolve this issue as soon as possible, ideally before Ms. Bodine’s rescheduled confirmation hearing next week.”