Scott Pruitt EPA Christine Todd Whitman newday_00000000.jpg
Scott Pruitt EPA Christine Todd Whitman newday_00000000.jpg
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Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt testifies about the fiscal year 2018 budget during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, June 27, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB        (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
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Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt testifies about the fiscal year 2018 budget during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, June 27, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
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EAST CHICAGO, IN - APRIL 19:  U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt makes a statement to the media after meeting residents from and taking a brief tour of the West Calumet Housing Complex on April 19, 2017 in East Chicago, Indiana.  Nearly all the residents of the complex were ordered to move by the East Chicago Housing Authority after the soil and many homes in the complex were found to contain high levels of lead. The area has been declared an EPA superfund site. This was Pruitt's first visit to a superfund site since being named the agency's administrator. The complex is scheduled for demolition.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Scott Olson/Getty Images
EAST CHICAGO, IN - APRIL 19: U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt makes a statement to the media after meeting residents from and taking a brief tour of the West Calumet Housing Complex on April 19, 2017 in East Chicago, Indiana. Nearly all the residents of the complex were ordered to move by the East Chicago Housing Authority after the soil and many homes in the complex were found to contain high levels of lead. The area has been declared an EPA superfund site. This was Pruitt's first visit to a superfund site since being named the agency's administrator. The complex is scheduled for demolition. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
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WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 18: Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, President-elect Donald Trump's choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency, testifies during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on Capitol Hill January 18, 2017 in Washington, DC. Pruitt is expected to face tough questioning about his stance on climate change and ties to the oil and gas industry.   (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
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WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 18: Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, President-elect Donald Trump's choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency, testifies during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on Capitol Hill January 18, 2017 in Washington, DC. Pruitt is expected to face tough questioning about his stance on climate change and ties to the oil and gas industry. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
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EAST CHICAGO, IN - APRIL 19:  U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt makes a statement to the media after meeting residents from and taking a brief tour of the West Calumet Housing Complex on April 19, 2017 in East Chicago, Indiana.  Nearly all the residents of the complex were ordered to move by the East Chicago Housing Authority after the soil and many homes in the complex were found to contain high levels of lead. The area has been declared an EPA superfund site. This was Pruitt's first visit to a superfund site since being named the agency's administrator. The complex is scheduled for demolition.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Scott Olson/Getty Images
EAST CHICAGO, IN - APRIL 19: U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt makes a statement to the media after meeting residents from and taking a brief tour of the West Calumet Housing Complex on April 19, 2017 in East Chicago, Indiana. Nearly all the residents of the complex were ordered to move by the East Chicago Housing Authority after the soil and many homes in the complex were found to contain high levels of lead. The area has been declared an EPA superfund site. This was Pruitt's first visit to a superfund site since being named the agency's administrator. The complex is scheduled for demolition. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
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In this May 16, 2018, photo, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt appears before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee on the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies on budget on Capitol Hill in Washington. Pruitt claimed credit for pollution cleanups done mostly by the Obama administration while flubbing facts about his 2017 condo deal and blaming underlings for his ethical woes. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Andrew Harnik/AP
In this May 16, 2018, photo, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt appears before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee on the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies on budget on Capitol Hill in Washington. Pruitt claimed credit for pollution cleanups done mostly by the Obama administration while flubbing facts about his 2017 condo deal and blaming underlings for his ethical woes. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
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WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 16:  EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, testifies during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill, May 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. The Subcommittee is hearing testimony on the proposed budget estimates for FY2019 for the Environmental Protection Agency.  (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
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WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 16: EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, testifies during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill, May 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. The Subcommittee is hearing testimony on the proposed budget estimates for FY2019 for the Environmental Protection Agency. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
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Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt testifies about the fiscal year 2018 budget during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, June 27, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB        (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
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Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt testifies about the fiscal year 2018 budget during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, June 27, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
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WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 7:  Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Committee about the mission of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on December 7, 2017 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images)
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WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 7: Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Committee about the mission of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on December 7, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images)
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EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt testifies before the House Appropriations Committee during a hearing on the 2019 Fiscal Year EPA budget at the Capitol on April 26, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Alex Edelman/Getty Images)
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WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 18: Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, President-elect Donald Trump's choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency, testifies during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on Capitol Hill January 18, 2017 in Washington, DC. Pruitt is expected to face tough questioning about his stance on climate change and ties to the oil and gas industry.   (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
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WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 18: Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, President-elect Donald Trump's choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency, testifies during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on Capitol Hill January 18, 2017 in Washington, DC. Pruitt is expected to face tough questioning about his stance on climate change and ties to the oil and gas industry. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
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 Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Environment Subcommittee in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill April 26, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 17:  Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt leaves after he spoke at an event November 17, 2017 in Washington, DC. Pruitt addressed The Federalist Society's 2017 National Lawyers Convention at the Mayflower Hotel.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 17: Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt leaves after he spoke at an event November 17, 2017 in Washington, DC. Pruitt addressed The Federalist Society's 2017 National Lawyers Convention at the Mayflower Hotel. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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Republicans wants answers from EPA chief

Watch CNN Special Report “Pruitt Under Fire: The Battle at the EPA,” hosted by Drew Griffin, on Friday at 11:10 p.m. ET.

(CNN) —  

The Environmental Protection Agency’s top public affairs official Liz Bowman is leaving the agency, which has come under intense scrutiny in recent months over EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s travel, spending and management.

“I leave extremely thankful for the opportunity to serve the Trump Administration and Administrator Pruitt. Being a member of the EPA team has allowed me to further my skills, learn from my mistakes, and make lifelong friendships. It has also provided me the opportunity to develop a new, and deep, respect for the public servants who serve the American people, day in and day out, to ensure that we all have access to clean air, land, and water,” Bowman, the associate administrator for public affairs at the EPA, said in a statement to CNN.

A source close to Bowman said she is leaving to handle communications for Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa. News of her departure was earlier reported by Bloomberg.

Bowman is the third top EPA official to leave the agency this week, following the resignation of Pasquale “Nino” Perrotta, who headed Pruitt’s security detail, and Albert “Kell” Kelly, an Oklahoma business associate of Pruitt who led the agency’s superfund cleanup program. Unlike Bowman, both men had come under scrutiny for their role in the scandals swirling around Pruitt.

The source said she is leaving because she has two small children and wants to be able to spend more time with them.

An EPA source said Bowman “needed something more ‘normal,’” but also said Bowman had grown tired of the scandals engulfing the EPA and had in recent weeks grown increasingly wary of being associated with Pruitt.

Behind the scenes, the EPA source said Bowman “broke her back trying to fight these stories the last few months,” but Bowman had also begun to distance herself from response efforts in recent weeks, leaving another spokesman, Jahan Wilcox, to be out front in responding to the various reports about Pruitt’s conduct.

Those reports have only continued to swell in recent months. Ethics watchdogs, federal auditors and congressional committees are conducting nearly a dozen inquiries into Pruitt’s actions at the EPA.

CNN’s Sara Ganim and Gregory Wallace contributed to this report.