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Overview:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is tasked with protecting the natural environment and public health as it relates to the environment. Its primary responsibility is to establish and enforce national standards relating to the environment; this is carried out through research, assessment and education. The EPA handles ground, water and air pollution, including containment and prevention. Hazardous waste disposal also falls under the jurisdiction of the EPA, and includes oil and chemical spills.

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History:

The EPA was created in 1970 by President Richard Nixon in order to repair damage done to the natural environment and to establish standards to prevent further degradation. The EPA consolidated into one agency the federal research, monitoring, standard-setting, and enforcement that had previously been carried out by disparate departments.

 

 
During the 1960s, the public’s awareness of the environment began to extend past the naturalist’s appreciation and into the concern of modern day environmentalists. This shift was greatly facilitated by Rachel Carson, whose 1962 book Silent Spring alerted the public to the extensive dangers of pesticides and other pollutants. A decade later in 1972, the caustic pesticide DDT was banned by the EPA for most uses in the U.S. The DDT ban was the EPA’s first momentous accomplishment and lifted hopes that the agency would have a significant impact on steering the nation into equilibrium with the natural world. 
 
During President George W. Bush’s two terms in office, EPA policy was heavily affected by Bush policy and the fact that members of his administration, such as Vice-President Dick Cheney, had ties to the industries that are supposed to be regulated by the EPA. Cheney, for example, was CEO of Halliburton, a multinational corporation that has oil, gas and chemical interests. Through Halliburton, Cheney was tied to oil giants like Chevron, with whom Halliburton carries multi-billion dollar contracts. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was a Chevron Director from 1991 until 2001, when President George W. Bush appointed her as National Security Adviser. President Bush Jr. himself was involved in the oil industry, in ventures that included Arbusto Energy, Spectrum 7, and Harken Energy.
 
Under the Obama administration, the EPA has reversed much of the controversial activity that took place during the Bush presidency.
 
Condi and Chevron (Excerpt, Condi: The Condoleezza Rice Story by Antonia Felix)
Bush Name Helps Fuel Oil Dealings (by George Lardner Jr. and Lois Romano,
            Washington Post)
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What it Does:

More than half of all EPA employees are engineers, scientists, and environmental protection specialists. Other employees include legal, public affairs, financial, and computer specialists. 

 

 
The following are individual offices within the EPA, as well as their respective responsibilities:
  • Office of Administration and Resources Management
    • human resources/personnel services
    • energy conservation
    • library and other services
    • information resources and telecommunications services
    • general administrative services
    • safety and security
    • property and supply
    • printing and distribution
  • Office of Air and Radiation
    • develops programs, policies and regulations for controlling air pollution
    • is concerned with energy efficiency, air quality, and climate change
  • Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance
    • advises the Administrator in matters concerning enforcement and compliance
    • provides direction and review of all enforcement and compliance monitoring activities
    • provides case preparation and investigative expertise for enforcement activities
  • Office of the Chief Financial Officer
    • develops and manages goals-based management system for the EPA
    • strategic planning
    • fiscal and managerial oversight
    • agency-wide budget, resources management
    • agency-wide payroll
  • Office of General Counsel
    • provides agency-wide legal services
    • assists in the formulation of the EPA’s policies and programs as legal adviser
  • Office of Inspector General
    • conducts internal audits and investigations
    • provides leadership, coordination, and recommendations for EPA activities
    • informs senior management and Congress of problems, abuses, and deficiencies relating to EPA programs
  • American Indian Environmental Office
    • develops procedures for the EPA’s international activities
    • assures that adequate resources are provided for international programs
    • conducts evaluations of the EPA’s international activities
    • positions the EPA to take the lead in solving international environmental problems
  • Office of Environmental Information
    • packages environmental information for policy decisions
    • oversees information policies and procedures
  •  Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention
    • develops and implements pollution prevention, pesticide, and toxic substance programs
    • recommends policies for implementing the Pollution Prevention Act
    • develops recommendations for EPA research
    • monitors and assesses pollution prevention, pesticide, and toxic substance programs
  • Office of Research and Development
    • responsible for the research and development needs of the EPA’s operating programs
    • participates in the development of EPA policies, standards, and regulations
  • Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response
    • provides policy and guidance for the EPA’s solid waste and emergency response programs
    • develops guidelines and standards for disposal of hazardous waste
    • develops and implements programs to respond to hazardous waste spills
    • Oversees the Superfund program
  • Office of Water
    • provides agency-wide policy and direction for the EPA water protection
    • develops and implements water programs
    • evaluates regional water programs
    • develops and implements educational programs
    • strategic planning
    • economic and long-term environmental analysis
    • develops and implements pollution prevention strategies
 
In addition, there are 10 regional EPA offices that are responsible for implementing EPA programs within their states:
 
From the Web Site of the Environmental Protection Agency

 

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Where Does the Money Go:
In 2010–11, the EPA has spent $2,513,390,034 in over 37,000 transactions with contracted companies. The types of services that the agency has spent the most on are hazardous substance removal ($232,112,446), architect/engineering ($193,062,371), various unspecified professional services ($177,293,874), technical assistance ($131,457,762), and ADP software ($126,643,714).
 
The top five providers of such services during that period are:
1. Computer Sciences Corporation                                         $201,663,075
2. CH2M Hill Companies Ltd.                                               $122,260,207
3. Tetra Tech Inc.                                                                      $76,461,556
4. ICF International Inc.                                                            $76,020,769
5. SRA International Inc.                                                           $67,475,896 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Controversies:

Since its inception, the EPA has often failed to be perceived as a protector of the environment, instead being seen as a federal facilitator of industry interests. From energy and chemical companies, automobile manufacturers and mining consortiums to the manufacturing industry writ broad, the EPA frequently finds itself embroiled in conflict between corporate interests, political pressure and conservationists. 

 

 

EPA Memo Links Pesticide to Honey Bee Die-off

An Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) memo surfaced in 2010 that attributed the massive die-off of honeybees to the pesticide clothianidin. The revelation sparked calls for the government to ban the chemical produced by Bayer CropScience. Clothianidin has been banned in Germany, where it was first made and where another wave of honeybee deaths occurred, since 2008.

 

The EPA took no action against the pesticide, even though it was revealed, in a leaked memo, that its own scientists had deemed “deficient” the one study submitted to the agency in the chemical’s provisional approval process.

 

Subsequently, a study from Purdue University showed that honeybees’ exposure to clothianidin was greater than previously thought by scientists, and that it continues to poison bees during the whole foraging season, even if it isn’t applied to the plants at that time.

 

The EPA is reviewing clothianidin’s registration and plans to complete the review by 2018.

 

The Clothianidin Controversy (Culinate)

EPA Defends Approval of Bayer's Bee-Killing Pesticide (by Sarah Parsons, Change.org)

Study Shows Honey Bees Exposed to High Levels of Bee-Killing Pesticide (Beyond Pesticides Daily News Blog)

 

 
Clear Skies
The Clear Skies Initiative was announced by President George W. Bush in 2002 and was presented to Congress as the Clear Skies Act in 2003. Clear Skies was an amendment to the 1963 Clean Air Act, ostensibly purposed to reduce air pollution. But Clear Skies won a host of critics, including members of Congress and various conservationist groups such as the Sierra Club and the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Its critics called Clear Skies propaganda created to mask relaxed regulations on polluting industries. Among the fallibilities of the Clear Skies Act, it would allow an additional 42 million tons of pollution to be emitted by industry and weaken controls on mercury and nitrogen oxide set by the existing Clean Air Act.        
 
As the Clear Skies Act was unfolding, the EPA was bending to presidential pressure that sought to undermine the New Source Review (NSW). The NSW is a key element of the Clean Air Act that allows for older power plants and factories to continue operations in expectation of the factory’s immanent retirement. However, NSW requires older plants to install modern air pollution controls if they make changes that increase their traditional emission levels. In 2003, the EPA acquiesced and adopted changes that relax restrictions on 20,000 facilities. These facilities represent the nation’s industrial base and include power plants, chemical plants, incinerators, iron and steel foundries, paper mills, cement plants, and a broad array of manufacturing facilities. 
 
When last introduced to Congress in 2005, the Clear Skies Act was effectively blocked, but the damage was done in the public’s opinion of the EPA. The EPA, whose job it is to provide scientific facts on proposed legislation, was expected to analyze Clear Skies through an empirical lens. However, as opposed to critiquing the Clear Skies Act, the EPA, headed at the time by Administrator Christine Todd Whitman, supported the measure regardless of its flagrant fallibilities.
Clean Air Act (Wikipedia)
Clear Skies Act (Wikipedia)
E.P.A. Sets Rules to Cut Power Plant Pollution (by Michael Janofsky, New York Times)
 
9/11
Following the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001, the White House directed the EPA to funnel all of their media communications through the National Security Council. As a result, the danger of airborne particles was diluted at the direction of the Bush administration. Rescue workers as well as other New Yorkers who lived or worked in the area were affected; many have experienced Ground Zero illness, a respiratory condition resulting from inhaling alkaline particulates and asbestos. 
 
The 9/11 controversy came to light in August 2003, following the release of a report by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the EPA. The OIG report traced the White House’s influence on the EPA, beginning on September 12 when a memo was issued throughout the EPA saying all statements to the media must be cleared with the National Security Council. The EPA, and then-administrator Christine Todd Whitman, issued a public statement on September 18, saying the air around Ground Zero was safe. Rudy Giuliani, then mayor of New York City, echoed the safety statement. The OIG report found that the EPA did not have sufficient data on September 18 to issue such a statement of air safety and that the Bush administration pressured the EPA to remove cautionary information regarding air safety hazards at Ground Zero, apparently in order to keep Wall Street operating. 
 
In a 2006 class action suit on behalf of New York residents and schoolchildren in the Ground Zero vicinity, a federal judge for the court district in Manhattan recognized that the EPA failed in its responsibility to protect New Yorkers, and ruled that Whitman made statements that mislead the public regarding safety. In June 2007, the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that the public was misled by federal environmental officials about the extent of air contamination following the 9/11 attacks. However, a panel of judges in 2008 ruled that Whitman could not be held liable for false public statements she made regarding Manhattan air quality in the weeks following 9/11.
 
In November 2010, plaintiffs in the lawsuit against New York City accepted a settlement designed to pay $625 million to more than 10,000 workers who have experienced health problems. By then, the number of first responders who died from 9/11-caused illnesses had reached 1,000.
 
On January 2, 2011, President Barack Obama signed into law the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which provides $4.2 billion over the next five years for health care to emergency workers who suffered illnesses as a result of the rescue efforts they made on the day of the terrorist attacks. The law also includes a Victim Compensation Fund to assist attack victims. The original bill proposed $7.4 billion for victim compensation, but it was derailed by Republican opposition.
OIG Report (pdf)
Report Says U.S. Misled City on Dust From Ground Zero (by Anthony DePalma, New York Times)
E.P.A. Whistle-Blower Says U.S. Hid 9/11 Dust Danger (by Anthony DePalma, New York Times)
The poisonous legacy of 9/11 (by Andrew Stephen, NewStatesman)
 
 
Christine Todd Whitman
Leadership of the EPA has fluctuated in ideologies over the years, often following a presidential trend. The Agency was run during the 1970s by Russell Train, who later served as President of the World Wildlife Fund, and by Douglas Costle, a former civil rights attorney appointed to the EPA by President Jimmy Carter. Conversely, the EPA has existed under the leadership of Lee M. Thomas, who went on the become President and Chief Operating Officer of paper giant, Georgia-Pacific Corporation, and by William K. Reilly who has been a director of oil consortium, ConocoPhillips, and chemical megalith DuPont. Paradoxically, Reilly was also president of the World Wildlife Fund and the Conservation Foundation.
 
Yet no director has proved as controversial as Christine Todd Whitman, who served as the Administrator of the EPA from 2001–2003. Shortly after taking office in January 2001, the World Trade Center was attacked and the 9/11 controversy began to unfold (see section above). In addition to lying to the public about the dangerous state of air around Ground Zero, financial affiliations have come to light that place Whitman’s dishonesty within the framework of personal gain, not simply bending to presidential pressure. Christine Whitman’s husband, John R. Whitman is a former Citigroup vice-president and still manages hundreds of millions of dollars of the bank’s assets. As a result of the air conditions at Ground Zero, Travelers Insurance, which is a Citigroup subsidiary, stood to loose millions in medical claims. The previous year in 2000, John Whitman received a six-figure bonus from Citigroup. During her time at the EPA, Whitman also challenged the validity of a government-commissioned report that suggested anthropogenic or human-caused elements of global warming.  
 
Christine Todd Whitman is related to President George Bush’s family. Her brother, Webster B. Todd, married Sheila O'Keefe, the stepdaughter of James Wear Walker, whose sister Dorothy Walker Bush was the mother of George H.W. Bush and grandmother of George W. Bush. Christine Todd Whitman graduated from Wheaton College in 1968 with a bachelor’s degree in government. She headed the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities before becoming governor of New Jersey in 1994. She served as New Jersey’s governor until 2001. 
 
State-Mandated Emissions
During President George W. Bush’s administration, California and 16 other states were embroiled in a battle with the EPA over the states’ right to set their own emissions standards for automobiles. The states have wanted to mandate tougher emission standards to reduce their pollution levels, especially carbon dioxide. But on December 19, 2007, the federal government via the EPA ruled against the state’s authority to set emission standards. Many suspect the decision was motivated by the automobile industry, which was in strict opposition to the state’s higher standards. 
 
Democratic California Rep. Henry Waxman, then-chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said the decision not only had important ramifications to the health of the nation, but also raised concern about the integrity of the EPA’s decision-making process. Waxman noted that then-EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson overruled the unanimous recommendations of the EPA’s legal and technical teams. In addition, 16 of the states, including California, sued the EPA over the decision.
 
Immediately after taking office in January 2009, President Barack Obama—fulfilling a campaign promise—reversed Bush administration policy by directing federal regulators to grant a waiver to California and 13 other states, allowing them to set their own emission standards. In addition to California, the states include: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Arizona.
E.P.A. Says 17 States Can’t Set Emission Rules (By John M. Broder and Felicity Barringer, New York Times)
Conservative Ire Pushed McCain From Lieberman (by Elizabeth Bumiller and Michael Cooper, New York Times)
 
Conflicts of Interest
Conflicts of Interest at EPA (Committee on Oversight and Government Reform)
            Times)
            Working Group)
 
Defunding the EPA
 
Greenhouse Gases: Not a Problem
In February 2011, a bipartisan group of legislators launched an effort to block or delay the EPA from regulating greenhouses gases under various environmental laws, including the Clean Air Act, as well as reverse previous EPA actions. Two of the bills would undo President Obama’s 2009 California waiver grant and prevent the EPA from granting the state a future waiver. Republicans have also introduced a funding measure to block certain EPA regulations. In addition to these congressional actions, over 80 lawsuits have been filed against EPA greenhouse gas regulations.
 
In an action to save industry money, the Obama administration—in May 2011—announced reforms at the EPA that included easing a rule that had classified milk as an oil, since that rule was found to be an unjustifiable burden to dairy farmers; and lifting the requirement that gas stations have air pollution recovery systems, because it claims that modern cars do that job. It was said that the first reform will save the industry $1 billion in the coming decade, and the latter will save $60 million annually.
EPA Chief Said To Have Ignored Staff. (by Janet Wilson, Los Angeles Times)
Chemical Industry's Influence at EPA Probed (by Lyndsey Layton, Washington Post)
            (by Russell Prugh, Marten Law)
            (Greenberg Quinlan Rossner)
            Walke, Grist)
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Debate:

Are EPA Gas Emission Regulations Killing Jobs or Creating Them?

 

With the Obama administration proposing tougher regulations on greenhouse gas emissions, businesses and environmentalists traded accusations about the impact of the rules on the economy and job production.
 
Kills Jobs
Opponents of the EPA regulations claimed the agency’s own estimates concluded that upwards of six million businesses and organizations could be affected by the changes. These included manufacturing facilities, power plants, hospitals and farms. Imposing new limits on carbon emissions threatened to undermine the weak economic recovery and result in a million or more lost jobs. The Ohio Coal Association warned the EPA could cause a “train wreck” for industry, with 77% of all coal-mining jobs in America disappearing by 2030. In terms of dollars, the loss could amount to $75 billion by 2014.
 
Creates Jobs
Supporters of the EPA plan countered that instead of losing jobs, the U.S. will actually create new employment opportunities because of the regulations. In fact, about 1.5 million jobs could be created as a result of new power plant construction, investments in pollution controls, and the phasing out of inefficient coal plants. Furthermore, several economists argued that history demonstrates that environmental rules have been good for the economy by spurring innovation in new technologies. This has been evident in the U.S., as well as in other countries, such as China, Germany, and Japan.
Is EPA Greenhouse-Gas Plan A Job Killer? History Might Offer Clues (by Mark Clayton, Christian Science Monitor)
 
From the Left and Center: Sound Science and Contractors
Most notably under the George W. Bush administration, the EPA was widely criticized for not implementing sound science in policy decisions. From the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to numerous environmental groups, the EPA was seen as having failed to base regulations and policy on comprehensive science. Various groups called for scientific reform as well as increased transparency. Also of concern was the increased use of private contractors by the EPA, as opposed to EPA employees. This reflected a wide trend going on in many levels of government, including the military, which often lead to murky work responsibilities, wasted money, nepotism in contract bids, and compromised security.
Split Personality (by Cyril T. Zaneski, Government Executive)
 No Intelligible Principles: The EPA's Record in Federal Court (By Jonathan H. Adler, Reason Foundation)
 
From the Right: Free Market Environmentalism
Free market environmentalism is the conservative theory that believes the free market or capitalist system is the most effective tool for protecting the natural environment. Free market environmentalism refutes the merits of government intervention in environmental matters, believing protection and preservation should be carried out voluntarily. This concept has been promoted by conservative think tanks and industry lobbyist, and was embraced by EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman. EPA programs such as Clear Skies (see section above) and Energy Star are products of the free market movement. Critics of free market environmentalism point to the fact that the market doesn’t reflect the values intrinsic to environmental conservation, nor can environmental resources be accurately quantified and priced.
Free Market Environmentalism Explained (by Terry Anderson and Candice Jackson Mayhugh, Hoover Institute)
Free-Market Environmentalism (by Bart Frazier, Future of Freedom Foundation)
The Fallacies of Free Market Environmentalism (by Michael C. Blumm, Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy)
Market Based Environmentalism vs. the Free Market (by Roy E. Cordato, Independent Institute)
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Former Directors:

EPA Administrators (Wikipedia)

 

 
Stephen Johnson
Stephen Johnson was born in Washington D.C. in 1951. He attended Taylor University, where he earned his BA in biology, and then received his master’s degree in pathology from George Washington University. Johnson worked in laboratories and bio-technology companies before working in government. He was the Director of Operations at Covance, formerly Hazelton Laboratories. Covance provides drug development and animal testing services. It is the single largest importer of primates into the U.S. and is the world’s largest breeder of laboratory dogs. The company has been at the center of numerous allegations of primate abuses in Germany and the U.S. 
 
Johnson has now been with the EPA for three decades. Before becoming Administrator, he held several senior-level positions including Acting Administrator, Deputy Administrator, Acting Deputy Administrator, and Assistant Administrator of EPA’s Office of Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxic Substances.
Covance (Wikipedia)
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Comments

Jean Lorenz 4 months ago
I am suffering from black mold and lyme nobody wants to help me had water damage few yrs ago was ignored by property mgr now tons of mold showing and I am infected and suffering need help ASAP 6175480699
Nona Kyle 5 years ago
Lisa Jackson, the first African American to lead the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is faced with the task of------- Why do I need to know that she is African American? Stephen Johnson, previous administrator was not identified as WHITE, Norwegian etc. Is she from Africa?

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Founded: 1970
Annual Budget: $8.344 billion (FY 2013 Request)
Employees: 17,109 (FY 2013 Estimate)
Official Website: http://www.epa.gov/
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
McCarthy, Gina
Administrator

The woman known as President Obama's “Green Quarterback” is set to take over the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as its new administrator—if she can get confirmed by the Senate, where some conservatives are vowing a fight. Gina McCarthy has served as Assistant EPA Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation since 2009. Although she drafted many of the agency's most controversial rules, including ones curbing mercury and soot emissions from power plants, she has a reputation among industry insiders as an open-minded pragmatist. If confirmed, McCarthy will succeed EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, who had the job from 2009 to February 2013.

 

Born in Dorchester, Massachusetts, circa 1954, Regina McCarthy earned a B.A. in Social Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts at Boston in 1976, and a joint M.S. in Environmental Health Engineering and Planning & Policy at Tufts University in 1981.

 

McCarthy spent the first quarter-century of her career working for her native state as a health and environmental protection official from 1981 to 2004, serving five governors from both parties—including Mitt Romney, for whom she developed the state's climate-change plan. Her first job was in her hometown of Canton, Mass., where she was the first full-time health agent, from 1980 to 1984, when McCarthy went to work for the board of health in the neighboring town of Stoughton, Mass.

 

McCarthy was appointed to her first state-level position in 1985, when Gov. Michael Dukakis (D) named her to the commonwealth's Hazardous Waste Facility Site Safety Council. In 1991, Gov. William Weld (R) named McCarthy executive secretary of the council. In 1994, McCarthy became executive director of the administrative council at the state's Executive Office of Environmental Affairs (EOEA), which oversaw the hazardous waste council.

 

McCarthy's career in the Bay State culminated with stints as undersecretary for policy at EOEA from 1999 to 2003 and as deputy secretary at the Massachusetts Office of Commonwealth Development from 2003 to 2004.

 

Taking a job outside Massachusetts for the first time, McCarthy served as commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection from 2004 to 2009, where she implemented a regional policy to trade carbon credits to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

 

A lifelong Democrat, McCarthy donated $1,000 to Barack Obama's 2008 campaign, $1,500 to Obama's 2012 campaign, and $500 to Sen. Elizabeth Warren's 2012 Massachusetts Senate campaign.

 

McCarthy is married to Kenneth McCarey, with whom she has three children, Daniel, Maggie and Julie. She has said that one of the “coolest” experiences of her life was getting to yell “Play ball!” at a Boston Red Sox baseball game.

 

To Learn More:

4 Things to Know about Gina McCarthy, Obama’s Pick to Head (by Catharine Hollander, National Journal)

Gina McCarthy, Obama's “Green Quarterback,” Has a History of Working With Industry (by Coral Davenport, National Journal)

Gina McCarthy for EPA could be Obama’s most Significant Nominee (by Brad Plumer, Washington Post)

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Jackson, Lisa
Previous Administrator

Lisa Jackson, the first African American to lead the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is faced with the task of restoring morale to an agency whose scientific advisers and staff were often overruled by the Bush administration on issues ranging from air pollution to global warming. Response from environmentalists to Jackson’s selection was somewhat mixed, owing to her recent leadership at the helm of New Jersey’s environmental protection office.

 
Born February 8, 1962, in Philadelphia, Jackson was put up for adoption. Her adopted parents moved her to New Orleans, where she grew up in Pontchartrain Park in the Lower Ninth Ward. She graduated first in her class at St. Mary’s Dominican High School in 1979 and was class valedictorian. In college, she graduated (summa cum laude) with a bachelor’s degree from Tulane University’s School of Chemical Engineering; her thesis was on cleanup of contaminated water. Jackson earned a master’s degree in chemical engineering from Princeton University.
 
She worked for two years at Clean Sites, a nonprofit funded by the chemical industry. This led to a job as a staff engineer with the EPA, where she stayed for 16 years. Eventually she moved up to deputy director and acting director of the Region Enforcement Division, working to clean up hazardous waste sites under the Superfund program for areas in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
 
Jackson joined the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in 2002 as the Assistant Commissioner for Compliance and Enforcement. In 2005, she took over the Division of Land Use Management, before being named DEP’s top official (commissioner) in 2006 by Gov. John Corzine (D), in charge of 3,400 personnel and a budget of $440 million.
 
During her tenure at DEP, Jackson was said to have brought a more policy-driven approach to New Jersey’s historically politicized DEP. She worked to pass mandatory reductions in greenhouse gases, reform the state’s cleanup of contaminated sites (including those in Camden and Paterson), establish a scientific advisory board to review agency decisions, and end DEP’s controversial bear hunt. She also unveiled a plan to reduce carbon emissions 20% by 2020 and 80% by 2050.
 
In 2007, Jackson led New Jersey’s participation in a lawsuit filed by multiple states in response to the Bush administration’s ruling that prevented states from enacting tougher fuel efficiency standards. Jackson called the EPA decision “a horrendous change of course,” adding, “When it comes to the auto industry, the EPA apparently is the Emissions Permissions Agency.”
 
Jackson’s last job in New Jersey was as Corzine’s chief of staff (becoming the first woman and first African American to hold the post), but it began only on December 1, 2008, two weeks before Obama formally nominated her to head the EPA.
 
As part of her duties in New Jersey, Jackson served as vice president of the executive board of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a program organized by northeast states to develop a regional cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from energy producers. Jackson also has been involved with the Governor’s Intergovernmental Relations Commission, the executive committee of the Natural Resources Leadership Council of the States, the New Jersey Intergovernmental Protection Commission, and the Ozone Transport Commission (chair).
 
Upon the announcement that Jackson would be Obama’s choice for the EPA, some environmentalists came out in opposition to her selection, including the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. Opponents said Jackson caved in to pressure from big business by supporting a plan that would privatize cleanup of hazardous waste sites, and that under her watch, DEP delayed releasing a critical report linking chromium waste sites in rapidly developing areas of Hudson County to lung cancer.
 
Other environmental groups endorsed her as EPA’s new boss, including the New Jersey chapter of the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council. They insisted that many of the poor moves by DEP were attributable to decisions by Corzine, who repeatedly cut funding for the agency.
 
Jackson supported Senator Hillary Clinton over Obama in the Democratic presidential primaries. Besides making a $1,000 donation to Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2007, she was an at-large delegate pledged to Clinton; later in 2008 she donated $200 to the Obama campaign. Following the November election, Obama selected Jackson to serve on his transition panel for energy and the environment.
 
Jackson is married and has two sons.
 
EPA Official Might Have Conflict Over C8 (by Ken Ward Jr., Charleston Gazette)
The New Team: Lisa Jackson (New York Times)
Ten Questions the Senate Should Ask Lisa Jackson (Public Employees for Envoronmental Responsibility) (PDF)
Lisa Jackson: On an Environmental Mission (by Robin Nash, PostiveCommunity.com) (PDF)
Why Lisa Jackson Should Not Run EPA (Public Employees for Envoronmental Responsibility)
Obama's EPA Choice Pending (by Bill Wolfe, NJ Voices)
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Bookmark and Share
Overview:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is tasked with protecting the natural environment and public health as it relates to the environment. Its primary responsibility is to establish and enforce national standards relating to the environment; this is carried out through research, assessment and education. The EPA handles ground, water and air pollution, including containment and prevention. Hazardous waste disposal also falls under the jurisdiction of the EPA, and includes oil and chemical spills.

more
History:

The EPA was created in 1970 by President Richard Nixon in order to repair damage done to the natural environment and to establish standards to prevent further degradation. The EPA consolidated into one agency the federal research, monitoring, standard-setting, and enforcement that had previously been carried out by disparate departments.

 

 
During the 1960s, the public’s awareness of the environment began to extend past the naturalist’s appreciation and into the concern of modern day environmentalists. This shift was greatly facilitated by Rachel Carson, whose 1962 book Silent Spring alerted the public to the extensive dangers of pesticides and other pollutants. A decade later in 1972, the caustic pesticide DDT was banned by the EPA for most uses in the U.S. The DDT ban was the EPA’s first momentous accomplishment and lifted hopes that the agency would have a significant impact on steering the nation into equilibrium with the natural world. 
 
During President George W. Bush’s two terms in office, EPA policy was heavily affected by Bush policy and the fact that members of his administration, such as Vice-President Dick Cheney, had ties to the industries that are supposed to be regulated by the EPA. Cheney, for example, was CEO of Halliburton, a multinational corporation that has oil, gas and chemical interests. Through Halliburton, Cheney was tied to oil giants like Chevron, with whom Halliburton carries multi-billion dollar contracts. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was a Chevron Director from 1991 until 2001, when President George W. Bush appointed her as National Security Adviser. President Bush Jr. himself was involved in the oil industry, in ventures that included Arbusto Energy, Spectrum 7, and Harken Energy.
 
Under the Obama administration, the EPA has reversed much of the controversial activity that took place during the Bush presidency.
 
Condi and Chevron (Excerpt, Condi: The Condoleezza Rice Story by Antonia Felix)
Bush Name Helps Fuel Oil Dealings (by George Lardner Jr. and Lois Romano,
            Washington Post)
more
What it Does:

More than half of all EPA employees are engineers, scientists, and environmental protection specialists. Other employees include legal, public affairs, financial, and computer specialists. 

 

 
The following are individual offices within the EPA, as well as their respective responsibilities:
  • Office of Administration and Resources Management
    • human resources/personnel services
    • energy conservation
    • library and other services
    • information resources and telecommunications services
    • general administrative services
    • safety and security
    • property and supply
    • printing and distribution
  • Office of Air and Radiation
    • develops programs, policies and regulations for controlling air pollution
    • is concerned with energy efficiency, air quality, and climate change
  • Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance
    • advises the Administrator in matters concerning enforcement and compliance
    • provides direction and review of all enforcement and compliance monitoring activities
    • provides case preparation and investigative expertise for enforcement activities
  • Office of the Chief Financial Officer
    • develops and manages goals-based management system for the EPA
    • strategic planning
    • fiscal and managerial oversight
    • agency-wide budget, resources management
    • agency-wide payroll
  • Office of General Counsel
    • provides agency-wide legal services
    • assists in the formulation of the EPA’s policies and programs as legal adviser
  • Office of Inspector General
    • conducts internal audits and investigations
    • provides leadership, coordination, and recommendations for EPA activities
    • informs senior management and Congress of problems, abuses, and deficiencies relating to EPA programs
  • American Indian Environmental Office
    • develops procedures for the EPA’s international activities
    • assures that adequate resources are provided for international programs
    • conducts evaluations of the EPA’s international activities
    • positions the EPA to take the lead in solving international environmental problems
  • Office of Environmental Information
    • packages environmental information for policy decisions
    • oversees information policies and procedures
  •  Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention
    • develops and implements pollution prevention, pesticide, and toxic substance programs
    • recommends policies for implementing the Pollution Prevention Act
    • develops recommendations for EPA research
    • monitors and assesses pollution prevention, pesticide, and toxic substance programs
  • Office of Research and Development
    • responsible for the research and development needs of the EPA’s operating programs
    • participates in the development of EPA policies, standards, and regulations
  • Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response
    • provides policy and guidance for the EPA’s solid waste and emergency response programs
    • develops guidelines and standards for disposal of hazardous waste
    • develops and implements programs to respond to hazardous waste spills
    • Oversees the Superfund program
  • Office of Water
    • provides agency-wide policy and direction for the EPA water protection
    • develops and implements water programs
    • evaluates regional water programs
    • develops and implements educational programs
    • strategic planning
    • economic and long-term environmental analysis
    • develops and implements pollution prevention strategies
 
In addition, there are 10 regional EPA offices that are responsible for implementing EPA programs within their states:
 
From the Web Site of the Environmental Protection Agency

 

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Where Does the Money Go:
In 2010–11, the EPA has spent $2,513,390,034 in over 37,000 transactions with contracted companies. The types of services that the agency has spent the most on are hazardous substance removal ($232,112,446), architect/engineering ($193,062,371), various unspecified professional services ($177,293,874), technical assistance ($131,457,762), and ADP software ($126,643,714).
 
The top five providers of such services during that period are:
1. Computer Sciences Corporation                                         $201,663,075
2. CH2M Hill Companies Ltd.                                               $122,260,207
3. Tetra Tech Inc.                                                                      $76,461,556
4. ICF International Inc.                                                            $76,020,769
5. SRA International Inc.                                                           $67,475,896 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Controversies:

Since its inception, the EPA has often failed to be perceived as a protector of the environment, instead being seen as a federal facilitator of industry interests. From energy and chemical companies, automobile manufacturers and mining consortiums to the manufacturing industry writ broad, the EPA frequently finds itself embroiled in conflict between corporate interests, political pressure and conservationists. 

 

 

EPA Memo Links Pesticide to Honey Bee Die-off

An Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) memo surfaced in 2010 that attributed the massive die-off of honeybees to the pesticide clothianidin. The revelation sparked calls for the government to ban the chemical produced by Bayer CropScience. Clothianidin has been banned in Germany, where it was first made and where another wave of honeybee deaths occurred, since 2008.

 

The EPA took no action against the pesticide, even though it was revealed, in a leaked memo, that its own scientists had deemed “deficient” the one study submitted to the agency in the chemical’s provisional approval process.

 

Subsequently, a study from Purdue University showed that honeybees’ exposure to clothianidin was greater than previously thought by scientists, and that it continues to poison bees during the whole foraging season, even if it isn’t applied to the plants at that time.

 

The EPA is reviewing clothianidin’s registration and plans to complete the review by 2018.

 

The Clothianidin Controversy (Culinate)

EPA Defends Approval of Bayer's Bee-Killing Pesticide (by Sarah Parsons, Change.org)

Study Shows Honey Bees Exposed to High Levels of Bee-Killing Pesticide (Beyond Pesticides Daily News Blog)

 

 
Clear Skies
The Clear Skies Initiative was announced by President George W. Bush in 2002 and was presented to Congress as the Clear Skies Act in 2003. Clear Skies was an amendment to the 1963 Clean Air Act, ostensibly purposed to reduce air pollution. But Clear Skies won a host of critics, including members of Congress and various conservationist groups such as the Sierra Club and the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Its critics called Clear Skies propaganda created to mask relaxed regulations on polluting industries. Among the fallibilities of the Clear Skies Act, it would allow an additional 42 million tons of pollution to be emitted by industry and weaken controls on mercury and nitrogen oxide set by the existing Clean Air Act.        
 
As the Clear Skies Act was unfolding, the EPA was bending to presidential pressure that sought to undermine the New Source Review (NSW). The NSW is a key element of the Clean Air Act that allows for older power plants and factories to continue operations in expectation of the factory’s immanent retirement. However, NSW requires older plants to install modern air pollution controls if they make changes that increase their traditional emission levels. In 2003, the EPA acquiesced and adopted changes that relax restrictions on 20,000 facilities. These facilities represent the nation’s industrial base and include power plants, chemical plants, incinerators, iron and steel foundries, paper mills, cement plants, and a broad array of manufacturing facilities. 
 
When last introduced to Congress in 2005, the Clear Skies Act was effectively blocked, but the damage was done in the public’s opinion of the EPA. The EPA, whose job it is to provide scientific facts on proposed legislation, was expected to analyze Clear Skies through an empirical lens. However, as opposed to critiquing the Clear Skies Act, the EPA, headed at the time by Administrator Christine Todd Whitman, supported the measure regardless of its flagrant fallibilities.
Clean Air Act (Wikipedia)
Clear Skies Act (Wikipedia)
E.P.A. Sets Rules to Cut Power Plant Pollution (by Michael Janofsky, New York Times)
 
9/11
Following the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001, the White House directed the EPA to funnel all of their media communications through the National Security Council. As a result, the danger of airborne particles was diluted at the direction of the Bush administration. Rescue workers as well as other New Yorkers who lived or worked in the area were affected; many have experienced Ground Zero illness, a respiratory condition resulting from inhaling alkaline particulates and asbestos. 
 
The 9/11 controversy came to light in August 2003, following the release of a report by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the EPA. The OIG report traced the White House’s influence on the EPA, beginning on September 12 when a memo was issued throughout the EPA saying all statements to the media must be cleared with the National Security Council. The EPA, and then-administrator Christine Todd Whitman, issued a public statement on September 18, saying the air around Ground Zero was safe. Rudy Giuliani, then mayor of New York City, echoed the safety statement. The OIG report found that the EPA did not have sufficient data on September 18 to issue such a statement of air safety and that the Bush administration pressured the EPA to remove cautionary information regarding air safety hazards at Ground Zero, apparently in order to keep Wall Street operating. 
 
In a 2006 class action suit on behalf of New York residents and schoolchildren in the Ground Zero vicinity, a federal judge for the court district in Manhattan recognized that the EPA failed in its responsibility to protect New Yorkers, and ruled that Whitman made statements that mislead the public regarding safety. In June 2007, the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that the public was misled by federal environmental officials about the extent of air contamination following the 9/11 attacks. However, a panel of judges in 2008 ruled that Whitman could not be held liable for false public statements she made regarding Manhattan air quality in the weeks following 9/11.
 
In November 2010, plaintiffs in the lawsuit against New York City accepted a settlement designed to pay $625 million to more than 10,000 workers who have experienced health problems. By then, the number of first responders who died from 9/11-caused illnesses had reached 1,000.
 
On January 2, 2011, President Barack Obama signed into law the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which provides $4.2 billion over the next five years for health care to emergency workers who suffered illnesses as a result of the rescue efforts they made on the day of the terrorist attacks. The law also includes a Victim Compensation Fund to assist attack victims. The original bill proposed $7.4 billion for victim compensation, but it was derailed by Republican opposition.
OIG Report (pdf)
Report Says U.S. Misled City on Dust From Ground Zero (by Anthony DePalma, New York Times)
E.P.A. Whistle-Blower Says U.S. Hid 9/11 Dust Danger (by Anthony DePalma, New York Times)
The poisonous legacy of 9/11 (by Andrew Stephen, NewStatesman)
 
 
Christine Todd Whitman
Leadership of the EPA has fluctuated in ideologies over the years, often following a presidential trend. The Agency was run during the 1970s by Russell Train, who later served as President of the World Wildlife Fund, and by Douglas Costle, a former civil rights attorney appointed to the EPA by President Jimmy Carter. Conversely, the EPA has existed under the leadership of Lee M. Thomas, who went on the become President and Chief Operating Officer of paper giant, Georgia-Pacific Corporation, and by William K. Reilly who has been a director of oil consortium, ConocoPhillips, and chemical megalith DuPont. Paradoxically, Reilly was also president of the World Wildlife Fund and the Conservation Foundation.
 
Yet no director has proved as controversial as Christine Todd Whitman, who served as the Administrator of the EPA from 2001–2003. Shortly after taking office in January 2001, the World Trade Center was attacked and the 9/11 controversy began to unfold (see section above). In addition to lying to the public about the dangerous state of air around Ground Zero, financial affiliations have come to light that place Whitman’s dishonesty within the framework of personal gain, not simply bending to presidential pressure. Christine Whitman’s husband, John R. Whitman is a former Citigroup vice-president and still manages hundreds of millions of dollars of the bank’s assets. As a result of the air conditions at Ground Zero, Travelers Insurance, which is a Citigroup subsidiary, stood to loose millions in medical claims. The previous year in 2000, John Whitman received a six-figure bonus from Citigroup. During her time at the EPA, Whitman also challenged the validity of a government-commissioned report that suggested anthropogenic or human-caused elements of global warming.  
 
Christine Todd Whitman is related to President George Bush’s family. Her brother, Webster B. Todd, married Sheila O'Keefe, the stepdaughter of James Wear Walker, whose sister Dorothy Walker Bush was the mother of George H.W. Bush and grandmother of George W. Bush. Christine Todd Whitman graduated from Wheaton College in 1968 with a bachelor’s degree in government. She headed the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities before becoming governor of New Jersey in 1994. She served as New Jersey’s governor until 2001. 
 
State-Mandated Emissions
During President George W. Bush’s administration, California and 16 other states were embroiled in a battle with the EPA over the states’ right to set their own emissions standards for automobiles. The states have wanted to mandate tougher emission standards to reduce their pollution levels, especially carbon dioxide. But on December 19, 2007, the federal government via the EPA ruled against the state’s authority to set emission standards. Many suspect the decision was motivated by the automobile industry, which was in strict opposition to the state’s higher standards. 
 
Democratic California Rep. Henry Waxman, then-chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said the decision not only had important ramifications to the health of the nation, but also raised concern about the integrity of the EPA’s decision-making process. Waxman noted that then-EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson overruled the unanimous recommendations of the EPA’s legal and technical teams. In addition, 16 of the states, including California, sued the EPA over the decision.
 
Immediately after taking office in January 2009, President Barack Obama—fulfilling a campaign promise—reversed Bush administration policy by directing federal regulators to grant a waiver to California and 13 other states, allowing them to set their own emission standards. In addition to California, the states include: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Arizona.
E.P.A. Says 17 States Can’t Set Emission Rules (By John M. Broder and Felicity Barringer, New York Times)
Conservative Ire Pushed McCain From Lieberman (by Elizabeth Bumiller and Michael Cooper, New York Times)
 
Conflicts of Interest
Conflicts of Interest at EPA (Committee on Oversight and Government Reform)
            Times)
            Working Group)
 
Defunding the EPA
 
Greenhouse Gases: Not a Problem
In February 2011, a bipartisan group of legislators launched an effort to block or delay the EPA from regulating greenhouses gases under various environmental laws, including the Clean Air Act, as well as reverse previous EPA actions. Two of the bills would undo President Obama’s 2009 California waiver grant and prevent the EPA from granting the state a future waiver. Republicans have also introduced a funding measure to block certain EPA regulations. In addition to these congressional actions, over 80 lawsuits have been filed against EPA greenhouse gas regulations.
 
In an action to save industry money, the Obama administration—in May 2011—announced reforms at the EPA that included easing a rule that had classified milk as an oil, since that rule was found to be an unjustifiable burden to dairy farmers; and lifting the requirement that gas stations have air pollution recovery systems, because it claims that modern cars do that job. It was said that the first reform will save the industry $1 billion in the coming decade, and the latter will save $60 million annually.
EPA Chief Said To Have Ignored Staff. (by Janet Wilson, Los Angeles Times)
Chemical Industry's Influence at EPA Probed (by Lyndsey Layton, Washington Post)
            (by Russell Prugh, Marten Law)
            (Greenberg Quinlan Rossner)
            Walke, Grist)
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Debate:

Are EPA Gas Emission Regulations Killing Jobs or Creating Them?

 

With the Obama administration proposing tougher regulations on greenhouse gas emissions, businesses and environmentalists traded accusations about the impact of the rules on the economy and job production.
 
Kills Jobs
Opponents of the EPA regulations claimed the agency’s own estimates concluded that upwards of six million businesses and organizations could be affected by the changes. These included manufacturing facilities, power plants, hospitals and farms. Imposing new limits on carbon emissions threatened to undermine the weak economic recovery and result in a million or more lost jobs. The Ohio Coal Association warned the EPA could cause a “train wreck” for industry, with 77% of all coal-mining jobs in America disappearing by 2030. In terms of dollars, the loss could amount to $75 billion by 2014.
 
Creates Jobs
Supporters of the EPA plan countered that instead of losing jobs, the U.S. will actually create new employment opportunities because of the regulations. In fact, about 1.5 million jobs could be created as a result of new power plant construction, investments in pollution controls, and the phasing out of inefficient coal plants. Furthermore, several economists argued that history demonstrates that environmental rules have been good for the economy by spurring innovation in new technologies. This has been evident in the U.S., as well as in other countries, such as China, Germany, and Japan.
Is EPA Greenhouse-Gas Plan A Job Killer? History Might Offer Clues (by Mark Clayton, Christian Science Monitor)
 
From the Left and Center: Sound Science and Contractors
Most notably under the George W. Bush administration, the EPA was widely criticized for not implementing sound science in policy decisions. From the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to numerous environmental groups, the EPA was seen as having failed to base regulations and policy on comprehensive science. Various groups called for scientific reform as well as increased transparency. Also of concern was the increased use of private contractors by the EPA, as opposed to EPA employees. This reflected a wide trend going on in many levels of government, including the military, which often lead to murky work responsibilities, wasted money, nepotism in contract bids, and compromised security.
Split Personality (by Cyril T. Zaneski, Government Executive)
 No Intelligible Principles: The EPA's Record in Federal Court (By Jonathan H. Adler, Reason Foundation)
 
From the Right: Free Market Environmentalism
Free market environmentalism is the conservative theory that believes the free market or capitalist system is the most effective tool for protecting the natural environment. Free market environmentalism refutes the merits of government intervention in environmental matters, believing protection and preservation should be carried out voluntarily. This concept has been promoted by conservative think tanks and industry lobbyist, and was embraced by EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman. EPA programs such as Clear Skies (see section above) and Energy Star are products of the free market movement. Critics of free market environmentalism point to the fact that the market doesn’t reflect the values intrinsic to environmental conservation, nor can environmental resources be accurately quantified and priced.
Free Market Environmentalism Explained (by Terry Anderson and Candice Jackson Mayhugh, Hoover Institute)
Free-Market Environmentalism (by Bart Frazier, Future of Freedom Foundation)
The Fallacies of Free Market Environmentalism (by Michael C. Blumm, Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy)
Market Based Environmentalism vs. the Free Market (by Roy E. Cordato, Independent Institute)
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Former Directors:

EPA Administrators (Wikipedia)

 

 
Stephen Johnson
Stephen Johnson was born in Washington D.C. in 1951. He attended Taylor University, where he earned his BA in biology, and then received his master’s degree in pathology from George Washington University. Johnson worked in laboratories and bio-technology companies before working in government. He was the Director of Operations at Covance, formerly Hazelton Laboratories. Covance provides drug development and animal testing services. It is the single largest importer of primates into the U.S. and is the world’s largest breeder of laboratory dogs. The company has been at the center of numerous allegations of primate abuses in Germany and the U.S. 
 
Johnson has now been with the EPA for three decades. Before becoming Administrator, he held several senior-level positions including Acting Administrator, Deputy Administrator, Acting Deputy Administrator, and Assistant Administrator of EPA’s Office of Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxic Substances.
Covance (Wikipedia)
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Comments

Jean Lorenz 4 months ago
I am suffering from black mold and lyme nobody wants to help me had water damage few yrs ago was ignored by property mgr now tons of mold showing and I am infected and suffering need help ASAP 6175480699
Nona Kyle 5 years ago
Lisa Jackson, the first African American to lead the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is faced with the task of------- Why do I need to know that she is African American? Stephen Johnson, previous administrator was not identified as WHITE, Norwegian etc. Is she from Africa?

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Founded: 1970
Annual Budget: $8.344 billion (FY 2013 Request)
Employees: 17,109 (FY 2013 Estimate)
Official Website: http://www.epa.gov/
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
McCarthy, Gina
Administrator

The woman known as President Obama's “Green Quarterback” is set to take over the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as its new administrator—if she can get confirmed by the Senate, where some conservatives are vowing a fight. Gina McCarthy has served as Assistant EPA Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation since 2009. Although she drafted many of the agency's most controversial rules, including ones curbing mercury and soot emissions from power plants, she has a reputation among industry insiders as an open-minded pragmatist. If confirmed, McCarthy will succeed EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, who had the job from 2009 to February 2013.

 

Born in Dorchester, Massachusetts, circa 1954, Regina McCarthy earned a B.A. in Social Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts at Boston in 1976, and a joint M.S. in Environmental Health Engineering and Planning & Policy at Tufts University in 1981.

 

McCarthy spent the first quarter-century of her career working for her native state as a health and environmental protection official from 1981 to 2004, serving five governors from both parties—including Mitt Romney, for whom she developed the state's climate-change plan. Her first job was in her hometown of Canton, Mass., where she was the first full-time health agent, from 1980 to 1984, when McCarthy went to work for the board of health in the neighboring town of Stoughton, Mass.

 

McCarthy was appointed to her first state-level position in 1985, when Gov. Michael Dukakis (D) named her to the commonwealth's Hazardous Waste Facility Site Safety Council. In 1991, Gov. William Weld (R) named McCarthy executive secretary of the council. In 1994, McCarthy became executive director of the administrative council at the state's Executive Office of Environmental Affairs (EOEA), which oversaw the hazardous waste council.

 

McCarthy's career in the Bay State culminated with stints as undersecretary for policy at EOEA from 1999 to 2003 and as deputy secretary at the Massachusetts Office of Commonwealth Development from 2003 to 2004.

 

Taking a job outside Massachusetts for the first time, McCarthy served as commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection from 2004 to 2009, where she implemented a regional policy to trade carbon credits to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

 

A lifelong Democrat, McCarthy donated $1,000 to Barack Obama's 2008 campaign, $1,500 to Obama's 2012 campaign, and $500 to Sen. Elizabeth Warren's 2012 Massachusetts Senate campaign.

 

McCarthy is married to Kenneth McCarey, with whom she has three children, Daniel, Maggie and Julie. She has said that one of the “coolest” experiences of her life was getting to yell “Play ball!” at a Boston Red Sox baseball game.

 

To Learn More:

4 Things to Know about Gina McCarthy, Obama’s Pick to Head (by Catharine Hollander, National Journal)

Gina McCarthy, Obama's “Green Quarterback,” Has a History of Working With Industry (by Coral Davenport, National Journal)

Gina McCarthy for EPA could be Obama’s most Significant Nominee (by Brad Plumer, Washington Post)

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Jackson, Lisa
Previous Administrator

Lisa Jackson, the first African American to lead the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is faced with the task of restoring morale to an agency whose scientific advisers and staff were often overruled by the Bush administration on issues ranging from air pollution to global warming. Response from environmentalists to Jackson’s selection was somewhat mixed, owing to her recent leadership at the helm of New Jersey’s environmental protection office.

 
Born February 8, 1962, in Philadelphia, Jackson was put up for adoption. Her adopted parents moved her to New Orleans, where she grew up in Pontchartrain Park in the Lower Ninth Ward. She graduated first in her class at St. Mary’s Dominican High School in 1979 and was class valedictorian. In college, she graduated (summa cum laude) with a bachelor’s degree from Tulane University’s School of Chemical Engineering; her thesis was on cleanup of contaminated water. Jackson earned a master’s degree in chemical engineering from Princeton University.
 
She worked for two years at Clean Sites, a nonprofit funded by the chemical industry. This led to a job as a staff engineer with the EPA, where she stayed for 16 years. Eventually she moved up to deputy director and acting director of the Region Enforcement Division, working to clean up hazardous waste sites under the Superfund program for areas in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
 
Jackson joined the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in 2002 as the Assistant Commissioner for Compliance and Enforcement. In 2005, she took over the Division of Land Use Management, before being named DEP’s top official (commissioner) in 2006 by Gov. John Corzine (D), in charge of 3,400 personnel and a budget of $440 million.
 
During her tenure at DEP, Jackson was said to have brought a more policy-driven approach to New Jersey’s historically politicized DEP. She worked to pass mandatory reductions in greenhouse gases, reform the state’s cleanup of contaminated sites (including those in Camden and Paterson), establish a scientific advisory board to review agency decisions, and end DEP’s controversial bear hunt. She also unveiled a plan to reduce carbon emissions 20% by 2020 and 80% by 2050.
 
In 2007, Jackson led New Jersey’s participation in a lawsuit filed by multiple states in response to the Bush administration’s ruling that prevented states from enacting tougher fuel efficiency standards. Jackson called the EPA decision “a horrendous change of course,” adding, “When it comes to the auto industry, the EPA apparently is the Emissions Permissions Agency.”
 
Jackson’s last job in New Jersey was as Corzine’s chief of staff (becoming the first woman and first African American to hold the post), but it began only on December 1, 2008, two weeks before Obama formally nominated her to head the EPA.
 
As part of her duties in New Jersey, Jackson served as vice president of the executive board of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a program organized by northeast states to develop a regional cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from energy producers. Jackson also has been involved with the Governor’s Intergovernmental Relations Commission, the executive committee of the Natural Resources Leadership Council of the States, the New Jersey Intergovernmental Protection Commission, and the Ozone Transport Commission (chair).
 
Upon the announcement that Jackson would be Obama’s choice for the EPA, some environmentalists came out in opposition to her selection, including the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. Opponents said Jackson caved in to pressure from big business by supporting a plan that would privatize cleanup of hazardous waste sites, and that under her watch, DEP delayed releasing a critical report linking chromium waste sites in rapidly developing areas of Hudson County to lung cancer.
 
Other environmental groups endorsed her as EPA’s new boss, including the New Jersey chapter of the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council. They insisted that many of the poor moves by DEP were attributable to decisions by Corzine, who repeatedly cut funding for the agency.
 
Jackson supported Senator Hillary Clinton over Obama in the Democratic presidential primaries. Besides making a $1,000 donation to Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2007, she was an at-large delegate pledged to Clinton; later in 2008 she donated $200 to the Obama campaign. Following the November election, Obama selected Jackson to serve on his transition panel for energy and the environment.
 
Jackson is married and has two sons.
 
EPA Official Might Have Conflict Over C8 (by Ken Ward Jr., Charleston Gazette)
The New Team: Lisa Jackson (New York Times)
Ten Questions the Senate Should Ask Lisa Jackson (Public Employees for Envoronmental Responsibility) (PDF)
Lisa Jackson: On an Environmental Mission (by Robin Nash, PostiveCommunity.com) (PDF)
Why Lisa Jackson Should Not Run EPA (Public Employees for Envoronmental Responsibility)
Obama's EPA Choice Pending (by Bill Wolfe, NJ Voices)
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