WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), a member of the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, today issued the below statement after voting to confirm Andrew Wheeler as administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Wheeler was confirmed by a vote of 52 to 47.
“I’ve long thought that Mr. Wheeler’s knowledge and experience make him an excellent fit to serve in a leadership role at EPA, and his record both as deputy administrator and acting administrator have shown that to be true. He has truly led the way when it comes to repealing the previous administration’s so-called Clean Power Plan, ending the War on Coal, and putting in place common-sense pro-growth regulations that will enable West Virginia’s economy to move forward as we continue working to expand and diversify our energy production. I was glad to support Mr. Wheeler’s confirmation and look forward to continue working with him on a range of environmental and related issues.
“Additionally, during the confirmation process, Mr. Wheeler listened to concerns I raised regarding drinking water quality standards and is now taking action to move toward setting a standard as I requested. His openness to consider bipartisan concerns and his willingness to take action to address them further prove he is the right kind of leader for this position.”
After raising concerns about Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) pollution and the effects on drinking water quality, Senator Capito met with then-Acting Director Wheeler personally to discuss her concerns. She also led a bipartisan group of senators in writing to EPA to formally request the agency move forward with setting a quality standard. Earlier this month, EPA announced a PFAS Action Plan and responded to Senator Capito’s letter the next day to further reiterate the agency’s commitment to that plan.
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