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Washington, DC: Today, despite the damaging shutdown that has shuttered the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other agencies, President Trump formally nominated Andrew Wheeler as EPA Administrator.

Clean Water Action’s President and CEO, Bob Wendelgass, released the following response:

“It’s outrageous that the President thinks it is appropriate to formally nominate Andrew Wheeler to lead EPA while the agency is shut down because of the President’s radical demand for an unnecessary and ecologically destructive border wall. The President should focus on getting our government back to work instead of putting a coal industry lawyer in charge of EPA.

We call on the Senate to reject Andrew Wheeler and demand an EPA Administrator who is not hostile to the Agency’s mission. Unfortunately, that is unlikely to happen. So far, the President has been able to stack the EPA with industry veterans who are determined to destroy it from within, and weaken as many laws that protect our water and health as possible. In just his short tenure as Acting Administrator, Mr. Wheeler has moved to weaken protections for our rivers, streams and drinking water, to reduce safeguards against toxic mercury in fish, and to reverse efforts to avert the worst effects of climate change.

Nominating Andrew Wheeler while the civil servants who protect our water and health and hold corporate polluters accountable are furloughed does nothing but add insult to injury and shows that the President is not serious about protecting our environment. The Senate should not hold a hearing on Andrew Wheeler until our government is reopened, and should demand a more responsible nominee.”


Since our founding during the campaign to pass the landmark Clean Water Act in 1972, Clean Water Action has worked to win strong health and environmental protections by bringing issue expertise, solution-oriented thinking and people power to the table. We will protect clean water in the face of attacks from a polluter friendly Administration and Congress.