WASHINGTON, D.C. — Acting Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler’s work to undermine the regulation of mercury, a proven neurotoxin, and other critical health and environmental protections show he is unfit to lead the agency, the National Wildlife Federation said today.
Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, said Wheeler’s testimony to the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee during his confirmation hearing today did little to account for or substantively address his decisions around the Mercury and Air Toxic Standards, the Clean Water Rule or other actions contrary to the EPA’s mission.
“Today, Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler repeatedly refused to acknowledge the devastating health consequences of his actions, showing neither remorse, nor a willingness to change course,” O’Mara said. “Most troubling was his unabashed explanation of the indefensible and egregious rollback of mercury standards — a substance we know causes irreparable harm children and wildlife alike. We urge all Senators to think of the health of their constituents before confirming any nominee who refuses to support scientifically-sound public health protections.”
The National Wildlife Federation had called upon Wheeler and Senate Republicans to delay his confirmation hearing, which took place while thousands of EPA employees are furloughed due to the government shutdown. The National Wildlife Federation also joined with other conservation organizations to say EPA staff should not be focused on nomination preparations while critical health and environmental programs were halted.
Give a gift that makes a difference for wildlife!Adopt Today
Give today to support our work protecting polar bears, bison, and many more at-risk species.Donate
Give the gift that arrives year-round: ANY subscription to Ranger Rick for 60% off + 2 BONUS gifts included with every order!Order Now
Place your order today for the themed box that delivers everything you need to create family memories while discovering nature and wildlife.Learn More
More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 52 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.