Legal Lookout: The Shape of Things to Come at EPA

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Courtesy of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

One of the first questions facing EPA in 2005 is who will be in charge. The absence of an administrator even for a short while also means that Steve Johnson, now confirmed as the deputy administrator, will continue to greatly influence not only chemical regulation and pesticide matters, given his background, but other matters involving air and water regulation.

Similarly, there are no senior political appointments in leadership positions in EPA's Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxic Substances (OPPTS) or in the Office of Research and Development (ORD). This void continues a political vacuum readily filled by career staff. Functionally, this means that political leadership will continue to come from Johnson, although his time and attention are strained by the demands of his position. It is expected, but not certain, that Johnson will remain as deputy since it is possible a new administrator may opt to bring his or her own deputy.

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