Click here or the image above to watch Ranking Member Capito’s opening remarks.

– Today, the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee held a virtual hearing to consider several U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) nominees. The nominees are as follows:

  • Amanda Howe to be Assistant Administrator for Mission Support, EPA
  • David Uhlmann to be Assistant Administrator for Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, EPA
  • Carlton Waterhouse to be Assistant Administrator of Land and Emergency Management, EPA

Below is the opening statement of Ranking Member Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), as prepared for delivery:

“Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

“I want to welcome to the three nominees.

“Each of you have been nominated to serve at the EPA in critical roles.

“The Office of Land and Emergency Management is key to that mission of to protecting human health and the environment across all media, land, water, and air.

Dr. Waterhouse, nice to see you. I look forward to your testimony.

“You are the lead political officer in that office right now and have been nominated to serve as the assistant administrator.

“Cleanups supported by your office can revitalize areas, make land usable again, and propel communities forward economically.  

“Established by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Opportunity Zones provide favorable tax treatment to private investments in economically-distressed areas.

“The Trump administration recognized that providing grants to projects in Opportunity Zones can leverage private investment and make federal dollars go further.

“I appreciated the emphasis that EPA under the previous administration—from the top down—placed on its waste and cleanup responsibilities, including in my home state.

“Despite this progress, I am concerned that under the Biden administration, the Office of Land and Emergency Management is again taking a back seat to other program offices—including the Office of Air and Radiation—as it did during the Obama administration.

“The president’s Fiscal Year 2022 Budget requests more than one thousand additional employees at EPA.

“In the detailed materials EPA provided to the Appropriations Committee, the agency does not request any additional employees for the Office of Land and Emergency Management.

“By contrast, the staff of the Office of Air and Radiation would increase by 179 employees.

“Dr. Waterhouse, I hope you can give us more insights into the current directions for the waste office within EPA, as well as your own professional background. And thank you for being willing to serve.

“Mr. Uhlmann, also good to see you again as well.

“You have been nominated to serve in another bedrock office of EPA, the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.

“When we spoke this summer, I enjoyed learning more about your career at the Department of Justice prosecuting environmental crimes.

“I thank you for your past service.

“Criminal enforcement is an important tool of the office for which you have been nominated, and one on which you are a preeminent expert as a Professor of Law at the University of Michigan.

“This hearing provides the committee an opportunity to discuss with you all of the tools the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance has, and how you would lead the office in using them, if confirmed.

“These include criminal enforcement, civil enforcement, and compliance assurance. In other words, helping regulated entities and states understand and comply with the law.

“I look forward to hearing your views on how EPA should use all of these tools.

“Finally, I would like to welcome Ms. Howe who has been nominated to lead EPA’s Office of Mission Support.

“This office is the one that keeps the agency running, from handling grant disbursements to human resources to information technology.

“I look forward to hearing how your past work experiences, including on political campaigns and as Acting Chief of Staff for New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio, prepared you for this role.

“Again, I would like to thank all of our nominees for your willingness to serve and appearing before us today.

“Thank you.”


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