Despite the hold on Gina McCarthy’s nomination to head the EPA, Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), the top Republican on the Environment and Public Works panel, has agreed not to back a filibuster on McCarthy.
“I’ve had very productive conversations with EPA over the last several weeks, and believe the agency has taken significant steps forward on our five transparency requests,” Vitter said. “These are huge, significant steps forward to bringing transparency to the agency, and I see no further reason to block Gina McCarthy’s nomination, and I’ll support moving to an up-or-down vote on her nomination.”
Vitter stated the agency has agreed to retrain its workers on records maintenance and the use of their personal email accounts, to investigate methods for allowing outsiders to understand the science behind air regulations, and to publish on two websites issues such as petitions for rulemaking and notices of its intent to sue.
However, the nomination is still on hold by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), who disagrees with the Obama administration about delays in the implementation of the St. Johns Bayou-New Madrid Floodway Project. Blunt remains dissatisfied that the EPA, Army Corps of Engineers, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service can’t agree on certain aspects of the project.
“As the saying goes, you’re entitled to your own opinion, but you’re not entitled to your own facts. The government needs to stop arguing with the government. I look forward to hearing conclusively whether the Corps, EPA, and FWS have reached an agreement on all of the facts surrounding this project, as they committed to do by March 15, 2013,” Blunt wrote to the three agencies on Tuesday.