U.S. Senate confirms top EPA enforcement official

by Reuters
Thursday, 7 December 2017 20:21 GMT

(Adds background about Bodine and comment from Sen. Barrasso)

WASHINGTON, Dec 7 (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate on Thursday confirmed the Environmental Protection Agency's third high-level official after Administrator Scott Pruitt, approving Susan Bodine to become the agency's top enforcement official.

Bodine will serve as assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, leading the agency's enforcement actions against polluters.

In September, two senators threatened to hold up her confirmation out of concern that she was serving as special counsel to Pruitt while she waited out the confirmation process, a possible violation of a federal law, and because she was slow to respond to Senate Democrats' oversight queries.

Democratic Senator Tom Carper of Delaware said on Thursday that he was "satisfied" with the responses she and EPA officials sent, clearing the way for her confirmation.

Bodine served as chief counsel at the Senate environment and public works committee from 2015 to 2017 and spent the last three years of the George W. Bush administration as assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response.

"She is dedicated to helping communities and holding polluters accountable," said Republican Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming, chair of the Senate environment committee. (Reporting by Valerie Volcovici; Editing by Susan Thomas and Marguerita Choy)

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