In Meetings with EPA Nominees, Carper Raises Concerns about the Influence of Industry, Agency’s Continued Failure to Respond to Congressional Oversight Requests

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, released the following statement regarding his meetings with four Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) nominees – Dr. Michael Dourson, EPA Nominee for Assistant Administrator of the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP), David Ross, EPA Nominee for Assistant Administrator of the Office of Water (OW), Bill Wehrum, EPA Nominee to be Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation and Matthew Leopold, EPA Nominee for Assistant Administrator for the Office of the General Counsel (OGC). The confirmation hearing to consider the nominees is scheduled for next Wednesday, September 20th.

“Today, I had the opportunity to sit down with President Trump’s most recent nominees to fill important positions at EPA. The individuals who serve in these roles will be charged with safeguarding the air we breathe, the water we drink and the communities in which we live, and their work will go right to the heart of the longstanding, bipartisan mission of the agency – to protect human health and the environment.

“Because the decisions made in these positions will affect every single American, I made clear to all the nominees that sound science must be the foundation of the agency’s work. The EPA’s priority must be keeping families across this country safe. To do so, the agency must use the best science available and rely on the technical expertise of trained professionals, not industry officials.

“I also raised my concerns and frustration with regard to the lack of adequate answers members of this committee have received from Mr. Pruitt. Since Mr. Pruitt took the helm at EPA, EPW Democrats have sent more than 20 letters to the administrator seeking information on serious and substantive matters and have received adequate responses to only a fraction of them. Responding to oversight requests from a co-equal branch of government is not optional, a view my Republican colleagues strongly held when President Obama was in the White House. I supported their right to perform their oversight roles as members of the minority then, and I’d hope they would be supportive now that the shoe is on the other foot. As I have said repeatedly, Mr. Pruitt must follow through with the answers he assured us he would provide during his own confirmation hearing before we move forward with additional nominees.”