Scott Fulton, my former boss at EPA, is retiring from the Agency effective January 3. Principal Deputy GC Brenda Mallory will be acting until a new successor is confirmed by the Senate. This was not so unexpected, but means that the Agency is losing one of its most experienced and thoughtful senior leaders who has helped steer it in the right direction for the last few decades. He has also been one of the Agency’s most versatile leaders, with an amazing grasp of the Agency’s operations, having served in a number of very different roles at EPA.
He started his career doing enforcement work at the Environment Division in the Justice Department in the early 80s, then moved to the Enforcement Office at EPA, where he eventually rose to the Deputy Assistant Administrator position. He then served as Principal Deputy General Counsel, was appointed a judge on EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board, and then joined the Office of International Affairs as Deputy Assistant Administrator. For a while, Scott also served as the Acting Assistant Administrator for the International Affairs Office. At the beginning of President Obama’s first term, EPA Administrator Jackson asked Scott to serve as Acting Deputy Administrator of the Agency, the number 2 role in the organization. Eventually, he was nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate as the Agency’s General Counsel, the role that he is now stepping down from.
When he leaves EPA, Scott will be joining the Environmental Law Institute as a visiting scholar and possibly become engaged in other matters.
Incidentally, here’s an interesting record that Scott holds: He is already the longest-serving General Counsel in the history of EPA. By the time he leaves, he will have served in his capacity for about 3 years and 5 months – longer even than Jonathan Cannon, who logged 3 years at General Counsel.