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EPA chief says Trump team a no-show at agency

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The Trump transition team has been a virtual no-show at the Environmental Protection Agency, agency chief Gina McCarthy said Monday. (Graeme Jennings/Examiner)

The Trump transition team has been a virtual no-show at the Environmental Protection Agency, agency chief Gina McCarthy said Monday.

McCarthy, who is commonly targeted by the GOP and the Right, said her agency is ready to "provide the transition team the information they need to hit the ground running" on the Trump agenda. The only problem is, they haven't shown up.

Except for one person paying a visit just before Thanksgiving, "we have not heard from anyone since," she said at an event held in downtown Washington by the Christian Science Monitor.

Observers and sources close to the transition team say they anticipate an announcement this week on who will lead the agency in the incoming Trump administration. It may be that the president-elect is waiting to announce his Cabinet before taking major steps on the agency-by-agency transition process.

Trump has made repeal of the President Obama's signature climate regulation, the Clean Power Plan, a central part of his first 100 days in office. The EPA power plan is designed to regulate carbon pollution in the states, while serving as the central way the U.S. would meet its obligations under last year's Paris climate change deal. It is being challenged by nearly 30 states and dozens of industry groups in federal court, where a 10-judge panel is reviewing their arguments.

She wouldn't speculate on who she thought should lead the agency, but only said that whoever it is that person should "really try to follow the science and the law."

McCarthy said her team stands ready to provide the Trump team with "all information on these high-profile policy issues."

She also said if the new administration is serious about creating jobs and maintaining public health, she hopes it will continue several programs at the agency that fund water systems to keep the nation's drinking water safe.

"If this administration is serious about infrastructure investment, they recognize its good for the economy and it grows jobs, I do really hope they look seriously at water and wastewater infrastructure as opportunities to grow the economy, plus deal with what we know is a core need of this country, which is to continue to provide the safest water in the world," McCarthy said.

"It doesn't take a Democrat or a Republican, it just takes a person to make sure they do the mission of the agency," she said. The EPA's mission is "a bipartisan, nonpartisan mission – it's just about public health."