Inhofe Raises Concerns Over Meiburg Nomination as Deputy Administrator at EPA

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, today sent a letter to Gina McCarthy, administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), questioning the legal authority for Albert Stanley Meiburg to be serving as acting deputy administrator of EPA while his nomination is pending before the U.S. Senate, an act in violation of the Vacancies Reform Act.

“It was not until December 18, 2015, that Mr. Meiburg submitted his completed nomination paperwork to the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW).  EPW Majority staff  have requested potential dates when Mr. Meiburg would be available to testify at a hearing to consider his nomination, but no dates have yet been provided,” Inhofe wrote in the letter.

“The Vacancies Reform Act also restricts certain officials from temporarily filling a vacancy in an acting capacity when they also have been nominated to permanently fill the vacancy.  A recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, finding the nominee for the position of General Counsel at the National Labor Relations Board had improperly filled the same position on an acting basis, has prompted scrutiny of officials who are currently acting in the positions to which they have been nominated,” Inhofe wrote.

Inhofe continued in the letter, “According to the Vacancies Reform Act and the recent U.S. Court of Appeals decision, it is unclear that Mr. Meiburg is eligible to serve as both the nominee for the Deputy Administrator position while also continuing to serve as Acting Deputy Administrator.  The Deputy Administrator is delegated numerous responsibilities and authorities on behalf of the Administrator, including the authority to approve certain advisory board actions, agency reorganizations, inter-agency agreements and memoranda of understanding, and personnel actions.  Based on information available to the EPW Committee, it appears Mr. Meiburg was rehired with the title Senior Advisor to the Administrator and Acting Deputy Administrator, but it is unknown whether either of Mr. Meiburg’s positions had previously been designated as the first assistant to the Deputy Administrator position, or whether the Associate Deputy Administrator serves that function.”

To view the full text of the letter, click here.