Senior EPA official steps down amid House ethics probe

WASHINGTON (AP) — A top Environment Protection Agency official who helped lead the Trump administration’s rollback of Obama-era restrictions on carbon emissions is resigning amid a congressional probe into whether he improperly aided former industry clients.

EPA Assistant Administrator Bill Wehrum is expected to depart at the end of June. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced Wehrum’s resignation on Wednesday.

Ethics questions have dogged Wehrum since his 2017 nomination by President Donald Trump. He long represented the fossil fuels and chemical industries as a Washington lawyer. Narrowly confirmed by the Senate, Wehrum has helped lead EPA’s rollbacks of clean air and carbon emissions regulations opposed by his former private sector clients.

The Democratic-controlled House Energy and Commerce Committee opened an investigation in April following media reports questioning Wehrum’s compliance with ethics rules.

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