News Releases from Headquarters›Office of the Administrator (AO)
Widespread Praise for Matt Leopold
Leopold Nominated as EPA General Counsel
WASHINGTON - Yesterday, President Donald J. Trump announced his intent to nominate Matt Leopold to serve as general counsel for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Mr. Leopold previously served as general counsel for Florida Department of Environmental Protection from March 2013 to February 2015 and as an attorney for the United States Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division from January 2007 to February 2013. He is currently of counsel for Carlton Fields Jorden Burt, P.A. focusing on environment, energy, water law, and litigation.
His nomination is receiving high accolades from environmental leaders across the country:
Marco Rubio, United States senator: “Matt Leopold’s experience and knowledge will serve EPA well, and I’m glad the president nominated a Floridian who understands the importance of our state’s vast ecosystems to our economy and residents’ quality of life.”
Pam Bondi, attorney general of Florida: “Matt Leopold was a great asset to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and I look forward to him working together with my friend Scott Pruitt.”
Adam Putnam, Florida commissioner of agriculture: “I’m thrilled to see another Floridian joining President Trump’s Administration. After eight years of increased regulations and fees under President Obama, with little to nothing to show for it, I’m grateful for folks like Matt Leopold, who bring a wealth of expertise and experience to Washington, as well as a common sense approach to protecting our environment, while enabling our economy to grow and thrive.”
John Cruden, president-elect of the American College of Environmental Lawyers and Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources Division, U.S. Department of Justice (12/2014-1/2017): "Matt Leopold was a valued colleague of mine at the Department of Justice. He is committed to the rule of law and can be counted on to give sound and candid advice to EPA decision makers."
Eric Draper, executive director, Florida Audubon: “He has a good legal mind, strong leadership skills and knows how to work with different interests to bring resolution to complicated issues. During Mr. Leopold’s tenure at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, I worked closely with the department on resolution of Everglades water quality issues necessary to settle federal litigation. Being directly involved, I saw that the state was successful in negotiating with USEPA a plan that allowed agreement on, and eventual legislative approval of, a plan called ‘Restoration Strategies’ to create remedies to meet Everglades water quality criterion.”
Eric Eikenberg, chief executive officer, The Everglades Foundation: “Few attorneys in America are as familiar with the legal issues – and importance – of Everglades restoration as is Matt Leopold, and I heartily applaud his nomination to be the next general counsel of EPA. Our paths have crossed often in the 12 years since I first met Matt. I respect him as an attorney and a person of integrity. He understands the importance of America’s Everglades and the critical need for restoration. Matt will serve Florida and our nation well, and I look forward to working with him and EPA to ensure America’s Everglades are protected and restored.”
Ethan Shenkman, EPA deputy general counsel (05/2014-01/2016) and DOJ deputy assistant attorney general, Environment and Natural Resources Division (03/2010-05/2014): “During the Obama Administration, I served in the DOJ environmental division and then at EPA. During that time, I had the opportunity to work closely with Matt Leopold on a number of environmental issues, where we crafted creative and responsible legal solutions to protect the environment, especially relating to the State of Florida where Matt served as general counsel of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. In addition to his legal acumen and broad knowledge of environmental law, I believe Matt's previous experience as a well-respected career attorney at ENRD will serve him well should he be confirmed, and will enable him to foster a productive working relationship with the talented and dedicated career staff in EPA's legal shop."
Herschel Vinyard, co-chair, Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council; secretary, Florida Department of Environmental Protection (01/2011-12/2014): "The first thing that the nation will learn about Matt Leopold is his unassailable integrity. The second thing the nation will learn about Matt Leopold is his unwavering commitment to following the law. I have seen firsthand how he brings those two key traits to the table, applies common sense and arrives at the ideal solution to complex problems. Kudos to the Trump Administration and Administrator Pruitt for making this selection.”