Trump pick to lead EPA has spotty state environmental record

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  • In this Jan. 4, 2017, file photo, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator-designate Scott Pruitt answer a reporter's question during his meeting with Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., on Capitol Hill in Washington. When President-elect Donald Trump’s choice to head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency first took office as Oklahoma’s attorney general, he disbanded the unit responsible for protecting the state’s natural resources. Instead, Pruitt reassigned his staff to focus on filing lawsuits against the federal agency he’s now selected to lead. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

    In this Jan. 4, 2017, file photo, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator-designate Scott Pruitt answer a reporter's question during his meeting with Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., on Capitol Hill in Washington. When President-elect ... Donald Trump’s choice to head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency first took office as Oklahoma’s attorney general, he disbanded the unit responsible for protecting the state’s natural resources. Instead, Pruitt reassigned his staff to focus on filing lawsuits against the federal agency he’s now selected to lead. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File) (The Associated Press)

  • Environmental Protection Agency Administrator-designate Scott Pruitt, left, is welcomed on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017, by Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., prior to testifying at his confirmation hearing before the committee. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

    Environmental Protection Agency Administrator-designate Scott Pruitt, left, is welcomed on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017, by Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., prior to testifying ... at his confirmation hearing before the committee. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (The Associated Press)

  • Environmental Protection Agency Administrator-designate, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017, at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

    Environmental Protection Agency Administrator-designate, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017, at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. (... AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (The Associated Press)

When President-elect Donald Trump's choice to head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency first took office as Oklahoma's attorney general, he disbanded the unit responsible for protecting the state's natural resources. Instead, Scott Pruitt reassigned his staff to focus on filing lawsuits against the federal agency he's now selected to lead.

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The 48-year-old Republican faces a Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday. Records also show that Pruitt failed to push a legal challenge initiated by his predecessor to protect Oklahoma's rivers from pollution caused by animal waste. He also took in nearly $38,000 in campaign contributions from individuals connected to the poultry companies involved in the lawsuit.

Pruitt's selection to lead EPA is being fiercely opposed by environmental groups that point to fundraising ties with corporations he has sued to protect.