Senate confirms Pruitt as head of EPA

February 23, 2017 -  By

The Senate confirmed Scott Pruitt Feb. 17 as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)—an organization Pruitt has spent his career opposing.

Senators voted 52 to 46 to confirm Pruitt, who as Oklahoma’s attorney general spent years suing the EPA to overturn regulations on various forms of pollution, climate change and clean water. A lone Republican, Susan Collins of Maine, voted against Pruitt, while two Democrats, Joe Manchin II of West Virgina and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, voted for him.

Setting in motion President Donald Trump’s campaign promise to dump the Clean Water Act—a measure Pruitt challenged in at least one of his 14 lawsuits against the agency he now runs—will likely be a major focus of the new EPA chief.

“Regulations ought to make things regular,” said Pruitt in his first speech after being confirmed. “Regulators exist to give certainty to those that they regulate. Those that we regulate ought to know what’s expected of them so that they can plan and allocate resources to comply.”

The National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) applauded the Senate confirmation.

“We greatly appreciate Administrator Pruitt’s stated mission of ensuring that the Environmental Protection Agency does not unduly burden businesses with costly and unnecessary regulations,” said Sabeena Hickman, NALP CEO. “We look forward to working with Administrator Pruitt and others at the EPA in pursuit of a common sense regulatory approach that protects the environment and at the same time allows landscape professionals to provide their services without unneeded interference.”

About the Author:

Dillon Stewart graduated from Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, earning a Bachelor of Science in Online Journalism with specializations in business and political science. Stewart is a former associate editor of LM.

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