Wheeler Nomination Approved by Senate
On February 28, the Senate voted 52-47 to approve 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. Wheeler will replace Scott Pruitt, who resigned from the position in July of 2018.
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 Perfluorooctance Sulfonate (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic Acid (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.