President Donald Trump has tapped two former colleagues to head the Environmental Protection Agency, the White House announced on Monday, as the U.S. and Europe continue to grapple with a deadly algae outbreak that has devastated coastal ecosystems and led to record-setting fish kills.
The appointments of former Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to lead the EPA, which oversees a $1.5 trillion portfolio of pollution controls and regulation, comes amid heightened political scrutiny of Trump’s administration over its handling of the algae outbreak.
Fallin, who served as Oklahoma’s top environmental official for five years, is an attorney who was an early supporter of Trump, and Bloomberg, a longtime environmental advocate and Bloomberg-backed mayor of New York, is a prominent Bloomberg ally.
Trump announced the nominations on Twitter late Monday.
The White House did not disclose the nominees’ titles.
“These are two people who know how to work together, who have a lot of experience working together on important issues,” Trump said in a statement.
The White House said Fallin’s selection would provide a voice for states and communities struggling with the algae crisis.
The president and first lady Melania Trump also announced the picks.
Fallins will head the agency, which will coordinate federal efforts to combat algae blooms, including through the Clean Water Act and other federal laws.
She was the chief U.N. environmental adviser from 2012 to 2014 and also served as the agency’s acting administrator from 2013 to 2016.
Bloomberg, who has said he would not support Trump’s candidacy, has endorsed Republican nominee Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.
Trump and Bloomberg both have ties to New York’s financial sector, including Bloomberg’s investment firm, Bloomberg LP, which owns the Wall Street Journal and other newspapers.