Western Leaders, Industry Groups Urge Senate To Confirm David Ross, Nominee For EPA’s “Water Czar”
President Trump made head way on nominees this month as the administration recently announced the president’s pick for assistant administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Water, David Ross.
Ross currently serves as the director of the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s Environmental Protection Unit. The president’s recent announcement set off a chain reaction of praise for Ross, with a lot of it from the West where water is a hot button issue.
The reaction comes as no surprise, as Ross has experience in handling Western water issues as he recently served in the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office from 2014-2016 as senior assistant attorney general and as a member of the Water and Natural Resources Division.
Having seen Ross’ work first-hand in Wyoming, former Governor of Wyoming, David Freudenthal, along with Todd Parfitt, Director of the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, both offered their vote of confidence.
“Dave Ross is first and foremost an excellent, pragmatic lawyer,” said Freudenthal. “His private practice experience in D.C. combined with his service in two state environmental protection agencies make him uniquely qualified to implement America’s nuanced structure of federal and state environmental protection.”
Parfitt echoed Freudenthal’s comments in an EPA news release.
“Mr. Ross possesses the necessary tools to effectively and appropriately oversee EPA’s Water program in a fair, balanced and practical way,” said Parfitt. “He has demonstrated his ability to objectively analyze and consider inputs from all points of view and formulate a fair and reasoned approach resulting in clear and concise decisions.”
The praise extends throughout the West for Ross’ nomination to be the next EPA “water czar.” Matthias Sayer, deputy cabinet secretary, New Mexico Energy Minerals and Natural Resource Department, expressed positive sentiments on Ross’ nomination and what he brings to the table.
“We out west are beyond satisfied with the appointment of Mr. Ross as the assistant administrator for Water,” said Sayer. Mr. Ross has a full understanding of those statues aimed at protecting our water, coupled with a full understanding of how those statutes can and do impact state and local communities.”
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt affirms Sayer’s point on Ross’ ability to implement and oversee water policy with state and local communities in mind. “David is especially qualified to head EPA’s Office of Water and to carry out the Trump Administration’s mission of returning power back to the states and advancing regulatory certainty,” EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said in a statement.
Ross also received praise from industry groups who are hopeful for a swift confirmation vote from the U.S. Senate later this week.
The Fertilizer Institute (TFI), a trade organization representing the U.S. fertilizing industry and generates more than $154 billion in economic activity in manufacturing, wholesale and retail agribusiness sectors, released a statement expressing support for Ross heading up the EPA’s Office of Water along with two other nominees for USDA appointments.
“American agriculture could not find more knowledgeable and stronger advocates,” said Chris Jahn, TFI President. “If confirmed, their decades of experience will be a tremendous asset to Secretary Perdu and EPA Administrator Pruitt and the entire agriculture community.”
Within the water world, Ross received praise from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) who put out a statement responding to the president’s EPA nominee announcement.
“Ross has won bipartisan praise from many environmental officials, and NACWA congratulates Ross on his nomination,” NACWA’s statement read. “The Association looks forward to working with him to advance NACWA’s clean water priorities pending Senate confirmation.”
On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a confirmation hearing for Ross and three other EPA nominees.