Inhofe Pleased With Senate Committee Approval of EPA Nominees

Oklahoma’s senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe, praised the committee approval of four nominees for positions at the Environmental Protection Agency and the nomination of Paul Trombino III to be Administrator for the Federal Highway Administration, according to a press release issued Wednesday.

“I am pleased that the Environment and Public Works Committee advanced the nominations of Michael Dourson, William Wehrum, Matthew Leopold and David Ross to key positions at the EPA,” said Inhofe. “I have the utmost confidence in these four picks and the quality they will bring to the agency.

Dr. Dourson is a professor in the Risk Science Center at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. He founded the Toxicology Excellence for Risk Assessment and previously worked at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Dourson served in multiple positions at the American Board of Toxicology, Society of Toxicology, Society for Risk Analysis and Toxicology Education Foundation.

Wehrum is a partner in the Washington, D.C.-based law firm of Hunton & Williams where he specializes in environmental, regulatory compliance and energy litigation. Prior to joining Hunton & Williams, Wehrum served for two years as Acting Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation at the Environmental Protection Agency. As EPA’s senior official on air issues, he was responsible for all aspects of the agency’s air program—from stationary sources to motor vehicles and fuels to climate change. He earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Purdue University and his law degree from Widener University School of Law.

Leopold, who served as the former General Counsel of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and former attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice, is currently Of Counsel with the law firm of Carlton Fields in Tallahassee, Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Leopold worked at the DOJ Environmental and Natural Resources Division as well as the State of Florida’s Washington, D.C.-based office. He received his law degree from Florida State University School of Law after earning his bachelor’s degree at the University of Florida.

David Ross currently serves as Wisconsin assistant attorney general and director of the Environmental Protection Unit for the Wisconsin Department of Justice. Ross previously served in the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office from 2014-2016 as senior assistant attorney general. Like EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Ross has sued the EPA many times over its clean water safeguards while representing Wyoming. He has challenged the Clean Water Rule and the Chesapeake Bay cleanup program. A Wisconsin native, Ross graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and received a degree from Vermont Law School, which is known for its environmental law program.

“Due to unprecedented obstruction by Senate Democrats, the EPA has only one Senate-confirmed position filled,” said Inhofe. “I look forward to seeing these capable nominees quickly confirmed by the full Senate so they can begin their critical work to strengthen environmental protections and improve public health within the scope of EPA’s authority.”

Paul Trombino is a licensed professional engineer who served as the former director of the Iowa Department of Transportation from 2011 until 2016. Most recently, Trombino served as president of McClure Engineering Company, an Iowa-based civil engineering company focused on transportation, aviation, water and structures projects. Prior to his service at McClure, Trombino served as president of the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials and vice chair of the Transportation Research Board Executive Committee. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin.

“I am also encouraged by the Committee’s bipartisan support of Paul Trombino to be Administrator for the Federal Highway Administration,” said Inhofe.  “As we look ahead at a broad-ranging infrastructure bill, it will be important to have qualified leadership at the Department of Transportation.  I look forward to working closely with him on that effort.”

The committee also favorably reported the nomination of Jeff Baran to remain as a member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  Baran has served as a member of the NRC since October of 2014. He was recently nominated by President Trump for a five-year stint after serving the remainder of his present term. A Chicago native, Baran earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in political science from Ohio University. He holds a law degree from Harvard Law School.


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