Scott Pruitt

EPA criminal action against polluters hits 30-year low

Radioactive sign.
Photo: Vitaliy Holovin/Corbis via Getty images

The Environmental Protection Agency hit a 30-year low last year in the number of pollution cases it referred for criminal prosecution, Justice Department data shows.

Details: The 166 cases referred for prosecution in the last fiscal year is the lowest number since 1988, when Ronald Reagan was president, according to the AP. The data was obtained by the nonprofit Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).

Trump formally nominates Andrew Wheeler to head EPA

Andrew Wheeler
Acting EPA adminstrator Andrew Wheeler. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump has formally sent Andrew Wheeler's nomination for administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to the Senate for confirmation, the White House announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: Wheeler, currently the acting chief of the EPA, is a former coal lobbyist who is expected to run a more conventional and inclusive policy process than former administrator Scott Pruitt, Axios' Amy Harder notes. The end result, however, will likely be policies similar to those of Pruitt. Wheeler's past skepticism about fossil fuels being the primary driver of climate change is likely to be scrutinized by senators at his confirmation hearing.

Go deeper: How things will (and won’t) change at EPA with Scott Pruitt gone

More stories loading.