Delaware Senate GOP Wary of Carney Pick for Environmental Chief - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delaware Senate GOP Wary of Carney Pick for Environmental Chief

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Shawn Garvin (Photo credit: Delaware State News) Shawn Garvin (Photo credit: Delaware State News)

DOVER, Del. (AP)- Senate Democrats postponed a vote Wednesday on Gov. John Carney's nominee to lead Delaware's state environmental department amid Republican opposition.
    
Carney has tapped Shawn Garvin, a former regional administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, to head Delaware's Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.
    
But Republican lawmakers, who are concerned about regulations stifling economic growth, oppose the nomination.
    
Senate Executive Committee members questioned Garvin and other Cabinet picks Wednesday, but his nomination was pulled from a slate of other nominees who were later confirmed by the full Senate.
    
"The votes weren't there," Senate President Pro Tem David McBride, D-New Castle, explained afterward.
    
McBride said Democrats were prepared to vote to confirm Garvin on Wednesday.
    
"Republicans should set aside political differences and join us in confirming this qualified candidate," he added.
    
Carney, through a spokesman, declined to be interviewed.
    
"We continue to talk to members of the Delaware Senate about the nomination of Shawn Garvin to lead DNREC," his office said in a prepared statement. "Shawn is a remarkably qualified candidate."
    
Carney's statement expressed optimism that Garvin will be confirmed in March, when lawmakers reconvene after breaking for budget committee hearings.
    
"Put his name on the floor and we'll have a roll call," responded Senate Minority Whip Greg Lavelle, R-Wilmington.
    
Lavelle said Republicans have concerns about "a host of issues" but declined to provide details, pointing instead to some of the questions posed to Garvin during the committee hearing.
    
Even before being questioned, Garvin pointed to Carney's focus on the economy and creating jobs and suggested that DNREC would support that effort while following its mandate to protect the environment.
    
In response to a question from Majority Whip Nicole Poore, D-New Castle, Garvin said the poultry industry is "a critically important part of our state economy."
    
"The role as DNREC secretary is to focus on the (environmental) requirements but making sure they're not overburdensome, to make sure that poultry here in the state of Delaware continues to be the leader throughout the nation in production and growing," Garvin added.
    
Garvin also said officials need to ensure that the environmental permitting process provides consistency and certainty and is done in a timely fashion.
    
Garvin was appointed in 2009 by President Barack Obama to serve as administrator of the EPA's Region III, which covers Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. He previously worked as a state and congressional liaison for Region III office.
    
Before joining the EPA, Garvin served as an aide to then-U.S. Senator Joe Biden and as an executive assistant to former New Castle County Executive Dennis Greenhouse.

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