‘EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt Will be Watched Carefully’
Nomination mobilized extraordinary citizen effort against confirmation
Waterkeepers Chesapeake, a coalition of 19 Riverkeepers, Coastkeepers and Shorekeepers from around the Chesapeake Bay and coastal bays watersheds, will be closely monitoring the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under newly-confirmed administrator Scott Pruitt.
When Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt was tapped by President Donald Trump on December 7, 2016, Waterkeepers from around the Bay were gravely concerned about his ability to effectively administer the agency. Pruitt had unsuccessfully joined multiple lawsuits to halt the agency’s efforts to enforce the Clean Water and the Clean Air acts.
Residents from around the Chesapeake Bay expressed concerns about the Chesapeake Bay’s ongoing cleanup efforts with Pruitt helming the pollution-fighting agency. With strong grassroots mobilization, Waterkeepers Chesapeake encouraged thousands of residents in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, and West Virginia to write letters to their U.S. Senators asking them to vote “no” on Pruitt.
“A man who describes himself as a ‘leading advocate against the EPA’ is not the right person to head the EPA,” said Betsy Nicholas, executive director of Waterkeepers Chesapeake. “We are very disappointed that there weren’t enough Senators to recognize the threat Mr. Pruitt poses to clean air and water.”
Nonetheless, Nicholas praised the outpouring of support: “We had thousands of letters, phone calls and in person exchanges coming from residents. We saw an unprecedented citizen mobilization on this nomination. We are grateful to these citizen advocates.”
“To me, that says Pruitt is on notice. People in our area are serious about the threats facing the Bay. People are serious about holding polluters — and politicians — accountable,” Nicholas said.