High Crimes and Misdemeanors: Resolution to Impeach EPA Head To Be Introduced in Congress

Katie Pavlich
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Posted: Sep 09, 2015 2:00 PM
High Crimes and Misdemeanors: Resolution to Impeach EPA Head To Be Introduced in Congress

Just one month after the EPA poisoned Colorado's Animas River when government workers punched a hole in a gold mine they were supposed to be cleaning up, Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar is leading the way to introduce a resolution of impeachment for EPA Administrator Regina McCarthy.

The resolution, which can be found here, accuses McCarthy of lying under oath to Congress, perjury and high crimes and misdemeanors. 

"Impeaching Regina McCarthy, Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, for high crimes and misdemeanors," the resolution states. 

A Dear Colleague letter is also being circulated on Capitol Hill in order to gain support for the resolution and details multiple instances when Gosar believes McCarthy made false statements under oath. 

"Administrator McCarthy committed perjury and made several false statements at multiple congressional hearings, and as a result, is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors—an impeachable offense," the letter written by Gosar states. "Perjury and making false statements to Congress are an affront to the fundamental principles of our republic and the rule of law, and such behavior cannot be tolerated. This bill holds Administrator McCarthy accountable for her blatant deceptions and unlawful conduct."

A few examples included in the letter: 

On July 9, 2015, Administrator McCarthy appeared before the House Committee on Space, Science, and Technology and made false statements in violation of section 1001 of title 18, United States Code. When questioned on how a provision in the administration’s new Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule was developed which allows previously non-jurisdictional waters to be regulated if they have a “significant nexus” to jurisdictional waters within 4,000 feet, McCarthy falsely claimed, “It is available in the docket…and that’s what we relied on, both the knowledge and expertise of our staff, the information that we received from the public and comments and the science that’s available to us.”
An April 27th memo to Jo-Ellen Darcy, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, from Major General John Peabody, proves that this was a false statement and that the 4,000 foot determination was not based on science stating, “The arbitrary nature of the 4,000-foot cutoff of jurisdiction is demonstrated by the fact that EPA staff engaged in drafting the rule told Corps staff during a conference call in March 2015 that EPA was going to cut off [Clean Water Act] jurisdiction at a distance of 5,000 feet from the [ordinary high water mark] of traditional navigable waters, interstate waters, territorial seas, impoundments or tributaries. Then, three days later, EPA staff changed its position” and went with the 4,000-foot cutoff; “EPA staff never provided any scientific support or justification for either a 5,000-foot or 4,000-foot cutoff.” Furthermore, Federal Judge Ralph R. Erickson also found “the 4,000 foot cutoff to establish jurisdiction over ‘similarly situated’ waters has no connection to relevant scientific data” and cited this fact as one of the primary reasons for his injunction issued August 27, 2015.
On July 29, 2015, Administrator McCarthy appeared before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and committed perjury in violation of section 1621 of title 18, United States Code. At the hearing, I entered into the Congressional Record the April 27th and May 15th memorandums from Corps’ Major General Peabody. These memos include remarks that directly contradict statements made under oath by Administrator McCarthy at the hearing including: that Gen. Peabody and other Army Corps employees had “serious concerns about certain aspects of the draft final rule”; that “the Corps’ recommendations related to our most serious concerns have gone unaddressed”; that “the rule’s contradictions with legal principles generate multiple legal and technical consequences that, in the view of the Corps, would be fatal to the rule in its current form”; that “our technical review of both documents indicate that the Corps data provided to EPA has been selectively applied out of context, and mixes terminology and disparate data sets”; and that “In the Corps' judgment, the documents contain numerous inappropriate assumptions with no connection to the data provided, misapplied data, analytical deficiencies, and logical inconsistencies. As a result, the Corps' review could not find a justifiable basis in the analysis for many of the documents' conclusions.”

Legislation for the resolution is expected to be introduced Thursday or Friday of this week. McCarthy was appointed EPA administrator by President Obama in July 2013. Her short tenure has been embroiled in controversy.