Changes Coming to the EPA

As the governmental agency that regulates our environmental safety and a key factor in keeping our global environment a clean and safe place to live, the Environmental Protection Agency is one that sometimes gets a bad rap. Under the Obama Administration, over 3,900 new rules affecting the environment were put out, and operating costs for the agency rose over $50 billion annually. They were hammered by Senate and House energy committees as well as outside analysts for their continued advancement of the Clean Power Plan (CPP), despite the Supreme Court issuing a stay on the rule. In sum, the EPA wasn’t in very good shape under President Obama. But now, with President Trump calling the shots, the EPA is looking to change its tune, starting with a few new appointments to key positions within the organization. President Trump has nominated David Ross to take a position at the head of the EPA Department of Water and Matt Leopold (my 2nd cousin) to take the general council position. Both men are receiving high accolades from respected environmental officials around the country, and will fit well into the new administration.

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David Ross, currently the Wisconsin assistant attorney general and director of the Environmental Protection Unit of the Wisconsin Department of Justice, has extensive experience working with multi-state policy issues, and fits into the new EPA under Trump well. Trump’s goal is to give the power back to the states, and state environmental agencies are excited that Ross will be an integral part of that process. An Appleton, Wisconsin native, Ross graduated from the University of Wisconsin and got his law degree from the Vermont Law School with a focus on environmental law.


Matt Leopold will be filling the general council position within the EPA, coming from a coming from a counsel position with Carlton Fields Jorden Burt, P.A. Leopold also has previously worked with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division, and has extensive experience in energy and water law. Matt has been endorsed by Sen. Marco Rubio and countless others within Florida and the Department of Justice, and fits into the president’s plans well in returning power to the states. I’m a pretty proud cousin, and I know Matt will do a great job working as the legal council within the EPA.