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Inspector General Issues Report On EPA Resignation, Permitting Process

May 8, 2015

George Elmaraghy
Credit State of Ohio

Ohio Inspector General Randall Meyer has completed his investigation of claims the governor’s office swayed water quality permit decisions based on political pressure. 

Ohio Public Radio's Andy Chow reports.

In 2013, George Elmaraghy, an Ohio Environmental Protection Agency chief said in a mass email to staff that he was forced to resign because of pressure from the coal industry. In the letter, Elmaraghy suggested that there were coal plants that did not deserve permits under the federal Clean Water Act. 

Following his resignation, House Democrats called for an investigation into these claims.

The Ohio Inspector General concluded that there were no signs of improper influences and that the permitting system was working the way it should.

The report noted periodical oversight by the federal EPA, which was an argument used by the Ohio agency at the time of Elmaraghy’s letter.