Environment

The Environmental Protection Agency’s top regional official for the Southeast has resigned after a grand jury indicted him on ethics violations last week.

Southeast Regional Administrator Onis “Trey” Glenn, who oversaw EPA enforcement for eight states including Kentucky, was indicted for multiple violations of Alabama’s Ethics Act, according to AL.com.

Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler accepted Glenn’s resignation on Sunday, according to an EPA statement. The statement included no information about why Glenn resigned.

Glenn was indicted alongside former business partner Willie Scott Phillips. AL.com reported Glenn and Phillips worked with a coal company to stall the cleanup of a neighborhood north of Birmingham.

A 2013 investigation there found levels of arsenic and other contaminants that could increase the risk of cancer for people living in the community, according to EPA records.

Glenn’s charges include use of office for personal gain, receiving money in addition to what’s received in an official capacity and soliciting or receiving a thing of value from a lobbyist or other official.

On Friday, Obama-era Regional Administrator Judith Enck called on the EPA administrator in charge of Kentucky to step down.

“I mean, I think he has to resign immediately because he has no credibility and it’s a real morale hit for the staff in the regional office,” Enck said.

Regional administrators manage hundreds of staff, multi-million dollar budgets and have enormous decision-making authority.

Deputy Regional Administrator Mary Walker has been promoted to serve as the acting regional administrator for region 4, which includes Kentucky, according to the EPA.

Ryan Van Velzer is WFPL's Energy and Environment Reporter.