WASHINGTON, D.C. — After 154 days of the Environmental Protection Agency operating without a permanent administrator, the U.S. Senate today voted to end debate on Gina McCarthy leading the agency. The Senate now prepares to make a final vote to confirm or reject McCarthy for the post. Margie Alt, executive director for Environment America, issued the following statement in response:
“Gina McCarthy’s confirmation would be long-awaited good news for the planet and should come as no surprise to anyone remotely familiar with her record.
“McCarthy’s stellar work under both Republican and Democratic governors, coupled with her track record at EPA, proves that when it comes to protecting our families’ health and environment it isn’t about which party or who you work for. It’s about whether you can get the job done. Gina McCarthy gets the job done.
“Working with a variety of stakeholders over the past four years, McCarthy was integral to several historic initiatives, including new, cleaner car standards that represent the biggest step the U.S. has ever taken to get off oil and tackle global warming; the first-ever federal limits on mercury pollution from power plants; and the first-ever proposed federal limits on carbon pollution from new power plants.
“The Senate should vote with the confidence that McCarthy will continue to put her professionalism and commitment to work implementing solutions to the formidable environmental challenges we still face.
“There is much that remains to be done. In the next three years, we’re counting on EPA to finalize carbon limits for new and existing power plants — the largest sources of global warming pollution — as outlined in President Obama’s recently announced Climate Action Plan. In addition EPA must secure protections for all our waterways, ensuring safe drinking water for 117 million Americans, limiting pollution from development and factory farms. EPA must deal with the tremendous health and environmental threats from fracking and move ahead with other much-needed environmental initiatives.
“With the confirmation process finally reaching its end, I urge the Senate to confirm Gina McCarthy. My staff and I are looking forward to working with EPA and its new chief to address our most pressing environmental challenges.”