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McCarthy Confirmed as EPA Administrator

The Senate confirmed Gina McCarthy late Thursday as U.S. EPA administrator by a 59-40 vote.  McCarthy’s confirmation had been waiting for 136 days as partisan wrangling in the Senate ensued over several of the President’s Cabinet nominations.  Republicans had blocked McCarthy’s confirmation process over concerns about secret e-mail accounts and “sue and settle” policy approaches.  The McCarthy nomination was one of many pending administration positions that broke loose earlier in the week with an agreement between Senate party leaders that allowed “up or down” floor votes to take place.

Through her work at EPA as Assistant Administrator for Air and in prior positions with the states of Massachusetts and Connecticut, McCarthy has been commended for bringing a balanced approach to issues and an ability to work with a variety of parties and interests.   McCarthy will face a variety of controversial issues such as implementing the Administration’s climate policy and the guidance/regulation on the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act.

The confirmation of Ken Kapocis to be Assistant Administrator (AA) for Water, which was before the Senate long before McCarthy’s nomination, is still blocked.  He continues to serve in the Office of Water as a special advisor while Nancy Stoner is acting AA.