Government

EPA chief spokesman Liz Bowman taking post in Ernst office

(File photo) U.S. Senator Joni Ernst speaks at a GOP District Convention at West High in Iowa City on Saturday, April 28, 2018. (KC McGinnis / The Gazette)
(File photo) U.S. Senator Joni Ernst speaks at a GOP District Convention at West High in Iowa City on Saturday, April 28, 2018. (KC McGinnis / The Gazette)

The top spokesperson at the Environmental Protection Agency is leaving the post to become the new director of communications for Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa.

The departure of Liz Bowman at the EPA was reported by multiple news outlets Thursday.

Sen. Ernst’s office confirmed she would be joining her team.

“Ms. Bowman brings years of invaluable experience in public affairs and public relations, and we are thrilled for her to lead the senator’s communications operation,” Ernst’s office said in an email.

Bowman is the latest EPA official to leave the agency, whose administrator, Scott Pruitt, has come under criticism on a number of fronts.

“I leave extremely thankful for the opportunity to serve the Trump administration and Administrator Pruitt,” Bowman said in an email. “Being a member of the EPA team has allowed me to further my skills, learn from my mistakes, and make lifelong friendships. It has also provided me the opportunity to develop a new, and deep, respect for the public servants who serve the American people, day in and day out, to ensure that we all have access to clean air, land, and water.”

Environmentalists have been critical of Pruitt, as he’s rolled back Obama-era regulations.

The EPA chief also has been questioned about his spending practices and contact with lobbyists.

In Iowa, he also has angered the biofuels industry over the Renewable Fuel Standard, which requires biofuels to be blended into the nation’s gasoline supply.

The EPA has granted a raft of waivers to refineries, which has upset the industry and Midwest lawmakers, including Ernst and Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa.

The Iowa Republicans have been critical of Pruitt on the biofuels issue, but have supported his moves on roll back regulations.

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