On Thursday July 6th Scott Pruitt resigned from his position of Chief Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Pruitt has held the position since February of 2017 but recently been under fire for numerous ethics controversies, ultimately stating the reason for his resignation was due to “unrelenting attacks on himself and his family which have taken a sizable toll on all of us”. Let’s take a look at what Pruitt was able to accomplish while in office and also some of the controversies that plagued him.
According to EPA.gov, some of Pruitt’s accomplishments include:
- Eliminated, substantially or entirely, sevensites from the National Priorities List of contaminated sites; only two sites were removed the previous year. EPA also awarded $60 million in Brownfields cleanup grants to local communities.
- Acted on 322State Implementation Plans (SIPs) and turned one Federal Implementation Plan into a SIP each month, since March 1, 2017.
- Awarded $25 millionin water infrastructure loans; disbursed $1.4 billion in State Revolving Funds to improve our nation’s water quality; and, awarded $100 million to Flint, Mich. for water infrastructure upgrades.
- Cleared the Agency’s backlog of new chemical submissions — containing 600new submissions as of January 2017 — and ensured that all new chemicals coming to market received a safety determination within about 90
These accomplishments would certainly boost his reputation, but it might be overlooked as these ethic controversies take center stage. Take a look at some of the controversial perks that Pruitt enjoyed as acting Chief.
- A Washington condo owned by a lobbyist, renting to him for just $50 per night;
- A $43,000 soundproof meeting booth in his office that violated federal spending law;
- Expensive first-class and private jet travel;
- Lobby Chick-fil-A to consider giving his wife a franchise;
- Ask aides to find a lucrative post for his wife with the Republican Attorneys General Association;
- use of secret calendars to avoid maintaining written records of meetings;
- The power to demote or intimidate lots of EPA employees who complained about all of this.
Although Scott Pruitt was able to make some beneficial strides as Chief of the EPA, there was clearly too much murkiness within his office that made the American people weary. His successor Andrew Wheeler, has taken over as Chief Administrator now and he certainly hopes to have a much more transparent run.