Crain News Service report
WASHINGTON (July 18, 2013) — The path now appears clear for Gina McCarthy to become the nation's 13th permanent administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
After a lengthy hearing where the EPA, not Ms. McCarthy, seemed to be the subject, the blunt native of Boston has remained in her position as the assistant administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation for the EPA while awaiting confirmation.
Republicans, led by Sen. David Vitter, R-La., held up the nomination, staging a boycott of a vote in the Environment and Public Works Committee. Democrats were outraged, while Republicans said they just wanted the EPA to be more transparent by providing data to back up rulings the agency makes.
When negotiations moved forward, Sen. Vitter allowed the committee vote on Ms. McCarthy to go forward, and she advanced to the full Senate, where the confirmation process has been stalled since May. It appeared the Republicans were still holding onto the filibuster option on Ms. McCarthy, meaning Democrats would need at least six Republicans to break with the party to allow her confirmation to move forward.
But Sen. Vitter again backed away, saying he would not filibuster Ms. McCarthy's nomination after the EPA agreed to various changes.
With a number of President Barack Obama's nominations stalled, Democrats flirted with the idea of changing Senate rules—the so-called "nuclear option"—on how nominees are approved, but Republicans backed down, allowing an up-or-down vote for a number of nominees, including Ms. McCarthy. Her vote is likely coming in the next week or so.
Her first order of business might be her most controversial, as President Obama recently issued a call-to-action for the EPA on climate change. That will likely mean new regulations for various emitters of pollution, which could include landfills and waste-to-energy facilities.
This report appeared on the website of Waste & Recycling News, a Detroit-based sister publication of Tire Business.