October 25, 2017 12:45 PM, EDT

Committee OKs Trombino as New FHWA Chief

Nomination Heads to Full Senate for Vote

The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works voted to approve the nomination of Paul Trombino, President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Federal Highway Administration, on Oct. 25.

The vote will be reported to the full Senate, which will then vote on Trombino’s official approval.


Trombino, a former Iowa transportation chief, told the committee earlier this month that they should consider various funding sources, such as public-private partnerships, to help pay for big-ticket infrastructure projects.

The committee’s chairman, Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), expressed support for Trombino’s nomination and commended Trump for choosing him.

“Paul Trombino is well-qualified and brings 20 years of experience,” Barrasso said.

Trombino, the former president of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, was at the Wisconsin Department of Transportation prior to his stint in Iowa.

In addition to Trombino, the committee also approved four people to fill roles at the Environmental Protection Agency, including Michael Dourson to be assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, William Wehrum to be assistant administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation, Matthew Leopold to be assistant administrator for the Office of General Counsel and David Ross to be assistant administrator for the Office of Water.

The committee also approved Jeffery Baran to be a member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

It was Dourson’s approval that appeared most troubling for Democratic senators on the committee. Several committee members stated that Dourson defends the use of chemicals that can cause people harm.

In the wake of Dourson’s approval vote, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) said he had never been more disappointed by the committee, on which he has served for 17 years.

“We’ve done the wrong thing,” Carper said.