Leavitt Sworn in as New EPA Chief

Former Republican Gov. Mike Leavitt zipped from his home state of Utah to the nation’s capital this week, but he didn’t get to go for a leisurely stroll along the Mall or take advantage of the free museum access. Instead, after a hasty swearing-in as the 10th administrator of the U.S. EPA yesterday morning, he turned his attention to business: dashing off a memo to all agency employees asking for their input on how best to do his job, and fielding demands from Democratic senators that he make good on the promises he made during his confirmation hearing. Leavitt takes the helm at a challenging moment: Senate Democrats are up in arms over the EPA’s decision to abandon investigations into polluting power plants, and an agency biologist resigned this week to protest a study, accepted by the EPA, that concludes that wetlands discharge more pollution than they absorb.