Senate Republicans will get the chance to take their shots at the Enviornmental Protection Agency on Wednesday as a panel of lawmakers meet to examine the agency's compliance and enforcement moves just a week after House Republicans slammed the EPA's leader.
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee's Subcommittee on Superfunds, Waste Management and Regulatory Oversight will hold a hearing on the EPA's enforcement and compliance programs Wednesday.
The subcommittee, headed by South Dakota Republican Sen. Mike Rounds, seeks to use its oversight authority of the EPA's enforcement actions against entities that violate their regulations. A committee spokeswoman said the hearing is expected to cover the Office of Enforcement and Assurance's role in rulemaking, the role of states in rule enforcement and the agency's new Next Generation Compliance Initiative, which it started last year.
Cynthia Giles, the assistant administrator for the EPA's Office of Enforcement and Assurance, will be appearing in front of the committeee.
The hearing comes a week after EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy was grilled by House Republicans, with little Democratic backup as the party held its sit-in gun control protest on the House floor.
McCarthy appeared in front of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee in a hearing that was supposed to be about the science the agency uses to come up with its regulations. Instead, it turned into a lecture from the GOP about the party's issues with the EPA.
Republicans railed against tighter ozone standards, the Waters of the United States rule, the Renewable Fuel Standard, the Clean Power Plan and provisions that would have limited conversion of street vehicles into racing vehicles that were recently withdrawn by the EPA.
In addition, some Republicans took the opportunity to rip McCarthy and the EPA for not responding quicker to letters and information requests from the committee and accused her of mishandling the lead water crisis in Flint, Mich.
Overall, they accused McCarthy of perpetuating an arrogant attitude toward Congress that they say is rife throughout the Obama administration.
"There is an arrogant disregard for legislative authority," said Rep. Dana Rohrbacher, R-Calif.
However, on Friday, McCarthy struck a defiant tone during a speech in Boston.
Speaking at a Tufts University event in Boston, McCarthy was quoted by Shreya Durvasula, outreach coordinator at the Union of Concerned Scientists, that she feels the agency can't back down in the wake of such criticism.
"EPA has never been more beaten up in its life," she said, "because it's never been more relevant."