Trump nominates Senate committee counsel to lead EPA enforcement

Dive Brief:

  • President Trump has nominated Susan Parker Bodine to serve as an assistant administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.
  • Bodine worked at the EPA during the George W. Bush administration and currently is chief counsel for the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.
  • Bloomberg notes that while Bodine does not have previous enforcement experience, she has about three decades of experience in environmental law and represents a more mainstream pick than other Trump appointments, such as EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.

Dive Insight:

Trump's pick to head EPA enforcement has no specific enforcement experience, but Bloomberg reports she has worked in environmental law for decades and is well-respected among peers.

Bodine has worked with the Environment and Public Works committee since 2015, and previously served as EPA assistant administrator of solid waste and emergency response. Before that, she was staff director and counsel for the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

The EPA enforcement office has been the subject of discussion in the sector as the president seeks to slash its budget and the agency considers scaling back numerous regulations on the power sector, such as the Clean Power Plan and Waters of the U.S. rules. 

Trump's budget proposal would cut the enforcement office's budget to $419 million, Law 360 notes, a $129 million reduction from 2017. Appointment of a more mainstream figure in Bodine could indicate the Trump administration intends to unravel President Obama's environmental legacy through avenues other than regulatory enforcement. 

Trump has been slow to nominate people to fill some key positions. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, for instance, has been without a quorum for months, holding up numerous energy projects, and the president only nominated two potential commissioners this month.

Many of Trump's nominations have been controversial, particularly with regard to energy and the environment. Former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, who was tapped to head the EPA, sued the agency more than a dozen times as Oklahoma's top lawyer.

Previously, Bodine worked as an associate at Covington & Burling and a partner at Barnes & Thornburg. She has a law degree is from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law.

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Filed Under: Regulation & Policy