WASHINGTON, D.C. — Governor Earl Ray Tomblin said he left Washington, D.C. “encouraged” Thursday following a meeting with new Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy.
Tomblin said McCarthy was attentive during the meeting and took notes on the concerns he, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), Congressman Nick Rahall (D-Third District) and others raised about a number of EPA regulatory issues.
“She took it very well….and seemed very much interested in the concerns that we have as we spoke to her and has agreed to keep an open dialogue with us,” said Tomblin who was a guest on Thursday’s MetroNews “Talkline” shortly after Thursday’s meeting ended.
Tomblin said McCarthy, who is new to the EPA administrator role, promised to look into the issues raised and respond. “That is the most positive thing I’ve heard out of the EPA since I’ve been governor,” said Tomblin.
McCarthy has also also been invited to visit West Virginia to see what effects the EPA’s regulations are having “on real people.” A similar offer was made to former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson but it was not accepted.
Tomblin said all West Virginia officials are asking for is a “reasonable” approach from the EPA. “We’re willing to work with you, but we have to do it in a realistic way and look at the time frames,” he said.
Those who made up the West Virginia delegation are as follows:
Governor Earl Ray Tomblin
Chief of Staff for U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller
U.S. Senator Joe Manchin
Third District Congressman Nick Rahall
Secretary of State Natalie Tennant
House Speaker Tim Miley
Kanawha County Delegate Meshea Poore, a candidate in the Second Congressional District
Former state Democratic Party Chair Nick Casey, a candidate in the Second Congressional District
Current state Democratic Party Chair Larry Puccio
Current state Democratic Party Vice Chair Belinda Biafore
Charlie Lorenson, Governor Tomblin’s Chief of Staff
Frederick William Banig, UMWA
Chris Hamilton, West Virginia Coal Association
Josh Sword, West Virginia AFL-CIO
Senate President Jeff Kessler could not attend because of travel complications.