U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, D-Delaware, recently released a statement after the Senate confirmed by voice vote Sean O’Donnell to be inspector general of the Environmental Protection Agency.
“Communities in Delaware and throughout the country rely on the EPA to safeguard families from hazardous waste, toxic chemicals, greenhouse gas emissions and other harmful air and water pollutants,” said Carper. “Given EPA’s critical mission, the agency itself must be protected from waste, fraud and other abuses of power that could impair its important work. As we’ve seen over the last few years, misconduct and ethical violations have been far too frequent at this EPA. From the outstanding questions surrounding Scott Pruitt’s litany of scandals to former Assistant Administrator Bill Wehrum’s questionable ethics, it’s critical we hold public servants accountable to their actions, even if they resign from office. That was an important commitment that I secured from Mr. O’Donnell during his confirmation hearing. We need an EPA Inspector General who will see investigations through to their completion, root out corruption and protect the integrity of the agency and its mission. We need an EPA Inspector General who will be a partner in oversight, and help Congress hold the agency accountable. After more than a year without a Senate-confirmed EPA Inspector General, I’m glad that Mr. O’Donnell is up to the task. And after meeting with the nominee, hearing his testimony and reviewing his answers to senators’ questioning, I’m hopeful that Mr. O’Donnell is ready for the job.”