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Worry and relief at EPA after scandal-plagued chief's exit

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By ELLEN KNICKMEYER
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - Former top officials at the Environmental Protection Agency describe both relief and worry at the agency in the wake of administrator Scott Pruitt's departure.

President Donald Trump announced Pruitt's departure Thursday, saying Pruitt had decided months of ethics scandals were distracting from the agency's work.

Newly named acting EPA chief Andrew Wheeler is expected to stick to the Trump administration's business-friendly regulatory policy, but without the lavish spending and perceived secretive ways of the Pruitt era.

Former senior EPA water official Elizabeth Southerland says the agency's career scientists are expressing relief at the end to the ethics scandals.

However, Kevin Chmielewski, who left earlier as Pruitt's deputy chief of staff, says agents in Pruitt's 20-member security detail and others linked to the ex-EPA head are fearful for their jobs.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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