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Pallone Sounds Alarm on Pruitt’s Senior Advisor for Superfund

Sep 19, 2017
Press Release
Advisor tasked with managing Superfunds was recently sanctioned by FDIC

Washington, D.C. – Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt today raising serious concerns regarding his decision to place Senior Advisor Albert Kelly in charge of the Superfund management task force.

This summer, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) fined Mr. Kelly $125,000 and ordered a series of prohibitions upon determining that Mr. Kelly “engaged or participated in a violation of law or regulation, unsafe or unsound practice, and/or breach of fiduciary duty as an institution-affiliated party of SpiritBank, Tulsa, Oklahoma.”

“As part of his settlement with the FDIC, Mr. Kelly has been barred from ever participating in the conduct of affairs for any financial institution or any other organization that is federally insured,” Pallone wrote to Administrator Pruitt.  “Despite this, Mr. Kelly has been selected as and remains in a senior role at the EPA and is tasked with protecting the solvency and continued effectiveness of the Superfund program and the Superfund Trust Fund.  In fact, you selected him to head your task force on Superfund management.”

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have underscored the importance of the Superfund program, and the need to ensure effective and timely cleanups of contaminated sites nationwide. Communities around the country depend on EPA’s administration of the Superfund program, including the Superfund Trust Fund and Superfund Special Accounts, with approximately 53 million Americans, 17% of the population, living within three miles of a Superfund site.

Mr. Kelly’s role overseeing the Superfund Special Accounts is of particular concern since EPA has had difficulty managing them in the past, and because the task force headed by Mr. Kelly has recommended increasing their use.

“Billions of dollars move through these accounts. These funds should not be entrusted to someone who has been barred from working for every financial institution from credit unions to Wall Street banks,” Pallone continued.   

As part of his inquiry into Mr. Kelly’s role at EPA, Ranking Member Pallone is requesting answers from Administrator Pruitt on a series of questions including:

  • What actions have you taken or are you taking to block Mr. Kelly from participating in the management of the Superfund Trust Fund and Superfund Special Accounts?
  • When and how were you informed of the FDIC inquiry and subsequent fine and prohibition, and on what date?  Please provide all communications and documentation associated with Mr. Kelly’s notice to EPA of the issue.
  • Upon being informed of the matter, what action(s), if any, did EPA officials take in response, and when were these actions taken?

A copy of Pallone’s letter is available here.