EPA Priorities in the Waning Hours of the Obama Administration

Toward the end of any administration, there’s always a mad dash by EPA to push through as much of its regulatory agenda as it can.  This past Friday, I was asked to pinch hit for Nancy Stoner, head of EPA’s Water Office, at the ABA’s annual environmental law conference in Baltimore.  Due to the partial government shutdown all EPA officials were threatened prohibited from making any public appearance to prognosticate on the agency’s priorities over the last three years of the Obama Administration.  Sorry, Nancy – we missed you.  But not to be overshadowed by the Air Office and the looming showdown on climate change regulations, I promised big things from you and your office (you’re welcome!), namely the “Big Three” rules, stormwater, waters of the U.S., and nutrients.  Continue reading

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Gina McCarthy – A Serious Contender

POTUS’ nominee for EPA, Gina McCarthy, is a rare breed in DC – no doubt she’s a hard charger, but she’s also thoughtful, engaging, smart, and, refreshingly, an honest gina-mccarthy-new-epa-headbroker.  WaPo and National Journal articles here and here.  It’s that latter quality, honesty, that makes her an endangered species here in DC, and a particularly dangerous one for those opposed to any EPA action on climate change.  I predict she will be confirmed, but if not, it won’t be because she isn’t qualified; rather, it will be because members of Congress took great umbrage to POTUS putting a gun to their legislative cortex to force action.   Continue reading