Wheeler Nomination Close to Approval by Senate

On February 27, the Senate voted 52-46 to advance the nomination of Andrew Wheeler to become permanent Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Mr. Wheeler was cleared by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on February 5 on a party line vote of 11-10.

The final vote on the nomination is expected this week.

While Wheeler was already approved by the Senate to be Deputy Administrator, there have been concerns from Senators of both parties regarding his response to demands for the Agency to set drinking water limits for PFOS and PFOA. On February 1, a bipartisan group of 20 Senators sent a letter to Wheeler urging EPA to “develop enforceable federal drinking water standards for PFOA and PFOS”. Mr. Wheeler has also been questioned about environmental enforcement at EPA during his tenure, as well as the Agency’s work on the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule.