October 29, 2019

Duckworth Meets with EPA Inspector General Nominee


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), who serves on the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), today met with the Trump Administration’s nominee to be the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Inspector General, Sean O’Donnell. Duckworth and O’Donnell discussed issues including allegations of political interference related to ethylene oxide inspections in Region 5 and claims that former-EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt weakened public health protections for a hazardous trash incinerator in Sauget, Illinois, after meeting with the plant’s manager. They also discussed the importance of a strong independent Inspector General, as well as protecting whistleblowers. O’Donnell’s nomination hearing will be held tomorrow in the EPW Committee. A photo of the meeting is available here.

“I appreciated the opportunity to meet with Mr. O’Donnell and discuss his views on the role of the EPA Inspector General,” said Duckworth. “The next EPA IG must be independent and committed to investigating the many claims of ethics violations, abuses of power and conflicts of interest that have plagued the Agency during the Trump Administration. They also must protect whistleblowers, who have been instrumental in fighting back against the political interference that threatens to prevent EPA from fulfilling its duty of protecting public health and the environment.”

EPA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) is an independent office within EPA charged with conducting independent audits, evaluations and investigations of agency programs and operations. It prevents and detects fraud, waste, abuse, mismanagement and misconduct relating to EPA and the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board. It makes evidence-based recommendations to promote economy, efficiency and effectiveness in agency programs and operations.