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EPA General Counsel Pick A Former Florida Regulator


President Donald Trump is nominating Tallahassee attorney Matthew Leopold for Environmental Protection Agency general counsel, and advocates say his background as a Florida regulator is a plus.

For the past two years, Leopold has worked in the Tallahassee office of mega firm Carlton Fields.

Before that, he worked as general counsel for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and in the environmental division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Audubon of Florida executive director Eric Draper says Leopold’s expertise sets him apart from many of Trump’s nominees.

“He’s probably conservative and meets that kind of litmus test for the Trump Administration. But I’d much rather have someone in there that I know, that I’ve worked with before, than somebody that’s just an ideologue.”

Trump's vow to roll back clean air and water regulations has Draper bracing for the worst.

A White House statement also mentions Leopold’s service as former Gov. Jeb Bush’s Washington, D.C. environmental advisor.

The position requires Senate confirmation.

A Miami native, former WFSU reporter Jim Ash is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of experience, most of it in print. He has been a member of the Florida Capital Press Corps since 1992.