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Widespread Praise From Environmental Officials for David Ross

Ross Nominated to Head EPA Office of Water

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EPA Press Office (

UPDATED 10/26/2017:

WASHINGTON - President Donald J. Trump announced yesterday his intent to nominate David Ross to serve as assistant administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Water. Mr. Ross currently serves as Wisconsin assistant attorney general and director of the Environmental Protection Unit for the Wisconsin Department of Justice. As Wisconsin assistant attorney general, he is responsible for managing the environmental litigation unit which prosecutes violations of state environmental and natural resources laws and defends administrative decisions and rules issued by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Mr. Ross previously served in the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office from 2014-2016 as senior assistant attorney general and as a member of the Water and Natural Resources Division. 

His nomination is receiving high accolades from environmental leaders across the country:

David Freudenthal, former governor of Wyoming: "Dave Ross is first and foremost an excellent, pragmatic lawyer.  His private practice experience in DC combined with his service in two state environmental protection agencies make him uniquely qualified to implement America's nuanced structure of federal and state environmental protection."

Misael Cabrera, director, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality: "Mr. Ross has exceptional credentials and experience for the role of Water Director. In addition, his views on cooperative federalism are exactly what is needed at US EPA."

Carol Comer, director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources: “The Missouri Department of Natural Resources would welcome the opportunity to work with Dave on our critical water issues. He has valuable experience with complex, multi-state policy decisions, and he understands the infrastructure challenges and needs of states like Missouri that have a significant number of small communities.”

David Glatt, chief, North Dakota Department of Health, Environmental Health Section: “Mr. Ross exhibits an excellent understanding of western water issues and challenges faced by rural states and tribal nations. His knowledge and work experience coupled with his willingness to pursue a renewed approach to cooperative federalism make him an excellent candidate for the position.”

Elliott Laws, Crowell and Moring LLP, former assistant administrator of EPA’s Office of Solid Waste (Clinton): "I know David Ross to be smart, innovative and practical in all of his professional dealings.  I fully expect him to bring those qualities with him to the Office of Water."

Todd Parfitt, director, Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality: “Mr. Ross possesses the necessary tools to effectively and appropriately oversee EPA’s Water program in a fair, balanced and practical way. He has demonstrated his ability to objectively analyze and consider inputs from all points of view and formulate a fair and reasoned approach resulting in clear and concise decisions.”

Steve Quarles, attorney at Nossaman LLP, former deputy under secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior (Carter): “I have worked with Dave for many years as law firm partners.  Dave’s greatest skill may be leading people with diverse views and interests to common ground.  People with such diverse views and interests naturally gravitate to Dave and look to him for leadership. This happens because Dave is highly intelligent, both in mastering issues and devising innovative solutions, and is an excellent listener, encouraging all to participate.  He also has exhibited masterful administrative skills – from leading informal cohorts of private attorneys through complex decision making to managing high performing public offices.”

Gary Rikard, director, Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality: “I believe Dave Ross would be an excellent addition to EPA’s Office of Water.  His experience and real world view in working for two different states would enhance this administration’s goal of improving cooperative federalism and building relationships between EPA and the states in administering environmental regulations and policy. That perspective, along with his environmental experience and legal background, will be an asset for the Agency.”

Matthias Sayer, deputy cabinet secretary, New Mexico Energy Minerals and Natural Resource Department: “We out west are beyond satisfied with the appointment of Mr. Ross as the assistant administrator for Water. Mr. Ross has a full understanding of those statutes aimed at protecting our water, coupled with a full understanding of how those statutes can and do impact state and local communities. Furthermore, through his boots on the ground experience, Mr. Ross has gained an appreciation for the important role states play, both in the east and dryer west, in protecting our water, and he understands that it is by working in cooperation with the states that the greatest degree of success in this important program will be achieved.”

John Tippetts, director, Idaho Department of Environmental Quality: “I just recently spoke with David for the first time, but I find him to be a person with significant relative experience, a keen intellect, and a good grasp of the appropriate interplay between states and the federal government as it relates to environmental regulation and enforcement. Additionally, he comes highly recommend to me by others who have worked closely with him.  They assure me that he is an excellent choice to serve as assistant administrator for water in the EPA organization.

“More specifically, I can say that I have been impressed with David’s candor and with his understanding of the need for EPA to work more cooperatively with the states. He recognizes that states often have a better understanding of how to address environmental issues within their borders than does the federal government, and I am confident we could work collaboratively to improve the positive outcomes we all desire.”