President Bush assigned Stephen Johnson, as the acting head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, nominating him to the top job on a full-time basis.
Johnson’s nomination was announced in a ceremony in the White House Roosevelt Room. Johnson, a career government employee who has been with the agency for 24 years, became its temporary head six weeks ago. "He knows the EPA from the ground up and has a passion for its mission," Bush said. If confirmed by the Senate, Johnson would become the first professional scientist to head the agency and would be its 11th administrator.
"He will listen to those closest to the land because they know our environmental needs best," Bush said of Johnson, 53.
Johnson's predecessor, Michael Leavitt, is now serving as the secretary of health and human services.
The President urged the Senate "to confirm this nomination promptly."
One of Johnson's top jobs according to Bush would be to "lead federal efforts to ensure the safety of our drinking water supply."
Johnson announced, "If confirmed, it will be my distinct privilege to serve you and our nation to continue to advance an environmental agenda while maintaining our nation's economic competitiveness."