EPA Head Scott Pruitt Defends Himself During a Senate Budget Hearing

The study, conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), reportedly shows that these chemicals are risky to human health at far lower levels than previously known or diclosed by the EPA, and have "contaminated water supplies near military bases, chemical plants, and other sites from NY to MI to West Virginia". Tom Udall of New Mexico, the top Democrat on a Senate appropriations subcommittee that prodded Pruitt on Wednesday, the EPA chief denied making the request. That's not to mention Pruitt's pricey private flight habit and $43,000 soundproof phone booth, all on the taxpayer dime. I also want to highlight for you that some of the criticism is unfounded and I think exaggerated.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., had sharp critiques of the agency's proposed budget calling it "reckless and unrealistic" and proof that the administrator has "total contempt ... for bedrock environmental safeguards, the work of the EPA and the people who monitor and protect and conserve our environment".

Pruitt, who did not refer to Hupp by name but called her "a longtime friend, " said that when it came to her assistance, "it's my understanding that all activity there was on personal time".

"What a silly reason to fly first class", Leahy said.

The agency's inspector general, an independent watchdog office that investigates threats against EPA employees, said in letters to two Democratic senators Monday that the EPA began providing Pruitt with a 24/7 detail on his first day as the administrator.

The decision to withhold data on what could be a major public health issue was "brazenly political", Judith Enck, a former EPA official under the Obama administration, told Politico.

"I share your concerns about some of these decisions".

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"You've brought true common sense policy to the agency", she said.

"Yes, it has been set up", Pruitt said when asked by Sen.

Udall then disclosed an internal email from then-EPA special agent Pasquale "Nino" Perrotta indicating Pruitt wanted the sirens used. "Instead of seeing articles about your efforts to return the agency to its core mission, I am reading about your interactions with representatives of the industries that you regulate".

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, who has often refrained from questioning Pruitt's spending habits during public hearings and instead focused on agency accomplishments and activities, admitted Wednesday that she felt the multiple probes were overshadowing the EPA's goal. Several, including Democrats, asked about Superfund sites in their states.

Multiple media outlets reported that Pruitt press aide Michael Abboud shopped allegations about Zinke to Washington reporters.

Under his watch, Pruitt argued, the EPA had made "enormous progress" on President Trump's agenda, "stripping burdensome costs from the economy" without sacrificing environmental protections. He added that he did not pay her for this service. Last month, the GAO determined that EPA violated federal law when it bought and installed the booth.

  • Adam Floyd