The Senate has approved House staffer Susan P. Bodine as head of the Environmental Protection Agency office overseeing the Superfund program, after a Democratic lawmaker released a procedural "hold" on the nomination.

Boxer dropped "hold" on nomination. (Photo courtesy of Office of Sen. Barbara Boxer)

Bodine, who was confirmed Dec. 17 as EPA's assistant administrator for hazardous waste and emergency response, was nominated to the position on June 28. But Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) had blocked Bodine's confirmation. Boxer wanted EPA to provide information on Superfund sites that posed health hazards and the cost to undertake emergency cleanup steps and total remediation at those locations.

On Dec. 16 Boxer agreed to let Bodine's nomination move forward after receiving a letter from EPA pledging to provide Superfund data, including actual costs on projects ready for fiscal 2005 construction funding and indications of the types of health or environmental risks at each site.

Boxer spokesman David Sandretti says another factor in releasing the hold on Bodine was a commitment from Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Superfund and waste management subcommittee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) to hold an oversight hearing on Superfund before the Memorial Day recess.

In a Senate floor colloquy on Dec. 16, Inhofe said, "I expect EPA to be forthcoming in this hearing about the program and look forward to Ms. Bodine's confirmation so that she may help ensure that the EPA is responsive to [Boxer's] requests for information about the management of the program and the impacts on communities throughout the country."

Bodine has been majority staff director and senior counsel for the House water resources and environment subcommittee.