Trump’s transition team makes landfall at EPA

Source: Kevin Bogardus, E&E News reporter • Posted: Tuesday, November 29, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team has begun to arrive at U.S. EPA.

In an agencywide email sent this afternoon and obtained by E&E News, Shannon Kenny, the agency’s transition director, told employees that “the Presidential transition is now underway at EPA.” Transition officials designated to handle EPA by the winning 2016 presidential nominee will now be meeting with agency leaders to help smooth over the changeover from the Obama administration.

“The Landing Team, which is responsible for reviewing the Agency and making policy and personnel recommendations to the President-elect, has begun to arrive. Between now and Inauguration Day, the team will be meeting with EPA leadership and preparing the incoming Administration to lead the Agency,” said Kenny.

Kenny is the principal deputy associate administrator for EPA’s Office of Policy. In May, she was chosen as its senior career employee to oversee the agency’s transition (Greenwire, May 10).

EPA and other agencies were left waiting for Trump’s transition teams in the weeks since Election Day. A shakeup in leadership for the transition effort, with Vice President-elect Mike Pence taking the helm, helped lead to the delay since Pence had to sign off on the transition memorandum of understanding, or MOU (E&E Daily, Nov. 16).

Kenny attached to her email a tipsheet titled “The Presidential Transition at EPA: Ten Things You Should Know.” It noted that it will take some time for EPA’s political leadership, especially the lower rungs, to come on board at the agency, saying, “During the 2008-2009 transition, most AAs [assistant administrators] and RAs [regional administrators] were nominated and arrived in the June-December timeframe following the Inauguration.”

Kenny also reminded staff that the MOU has been signed, which gives Trump’s landing team access to EPA employees, facilities and information.

“Consistent with the MOU, if anyone from the EPA Landing Team contacts you for information related to the transition, you should direct them to me,” Kenny said.

In addition, any media questions about the transition should be directed to the public affairs office.

Trump’s transition team for EPA is led by Myron Ebell, director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute and a well-known climate change skeptic (E&E Daily, Sept. 26). Ebell is the only member of EPA’s team who has been publicly announced, but that team is expected to expand soon.