“I have accepted the resignation of Scott Pruitt as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency,” Trump wrote on Twitter Thursday afternoon, while praising Pruitt’s work.
“Within the Agency Scott has done an outstanding job, and I will always be thankful to him for this.”
Pruitt has been embroiled in controversy throughout his tenure as administrator over his expenditures.
He reportedly rented a luxury condo tied to a prominent oil and gas lobbyist for a steal of $50 a night. Pruitt’s daughter, then a White House summer intern, stayed in a second bedroom at the condo at no additional cost.
He also reportedly misused government funds by repeatedly travelling first-class and booking luxury hotel suites. He also is said to have directed his security staff to use lights and sirens to speed through Washington traffic to dinner reservations.
In fact, he was the subject of multiple congressional and oversight inquiries; he denied wrongdoing in all cases.
As EPA chief, he made a number of regulation changes that angered environmental protectionists.
He signed a proposed rule that restricts the types of scientific studies regulators can use to determine the impact of pesticide and pollution exposure on human health.
He has also rolled back Obama-era regulations such as fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks.
In fact, he has either dismantled or begun the process of dismantling 22 regulations, according to Vox, as part of Trump’s deregulatory agenda.
Earlier this week he was urged to resign by a woman who confronted him in a restaurant, criticizing his policy and the cuts he’s made to emission standards.
“I just wanted to urge you to resign because of what you are doing to the environment and to our country,” Kristin Mink said at a Washington restaurant. “This is my son. He loves animals. He loves clean air. He loves clean water. Meanwhile, you are slashing emissions standards for cars and trucks for the benefit of big corporations.”
Environmentalists applauded his departure.
“Despite his brief tenure, Pruitt was the worst EPA chief in history,” said Kieran Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity.
“His corruption was his downfall, but his pro-polluter policies will have our kids breathing dirtier air long after his many scandals are forgotten.”
Before heading the EPA, he spent years attacking the agency. NPR reports that he sued the agency to stop emissions rules and block regulations on coal plants.
In his resignation letter, which was obtained by Fox News, Pruitt said it was a honour to serve and cited the “transformative work” occuring in Trump’s White House.
Trump said deputy administrator Andrew Wheeler will assume the job as acting chief, saying he will “continue with our great and lasting EPA agenda.”
“We have made tremendous progress and the future of the EPA is very bright!” Trump continued, on Twitter.
WATCH: EPA employees and protesters react to EPA chief Pruitt’s resignation
The New York Times reports that Wheeler is a former coal lobbyist who, like Pruitt, wants to undo many environmental regulations.
Like Pruitt, Wheeler has questioned whether or not humans have caused climate change, despite there being scientific proof.
*With a file from the Associated Press