Pruitt Speaks to Agency Staff

After a Friday confirmation and a Monday Federal holiday, new EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt spoke to the Agency about his plans and priorities.  As a preliminary blueprint, Pruitt reiterated the guiding principles that he first mentioned during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee:

  • Reject the “false paradigm” that environmental protection and economic growth are incompatible
  • Celebrate environmental progress made to date
  • Remember that the Rule of Law matters
  • EPA must have strong partnerships with the states under the framework of Federalism
  • Public participation is always key.

Pruitt went on to identify his three top priorities for Agency action:

  1. Superfund cleanups;
  2. Attaining air quality standards; and
  3. Improving water infrastructure.

He noted that consideration of “infrastructure” needs to look more broadly than just bridges and road.
Three additional themes were embedded in his speech:

  1. How regulations are important to make things predictable;
  2. The importance of the rule of law; and
  3. Federalism matters.

Finally, Pruitt said, “There is no reason why EPA’s role should ebb or flow based on a particular administration, or a particular administrator…Agencies exist to administer the law.  Congress passes statutes, and those statutes are very clear on the job EPA has to do.”
For those that are interested in hearing his speech first-hand, EPA’s website contains the video of his speech.