EPA Pick Has Toxic Record, Critics Charge

Jackson promised NJ cleanup effort, then didn't follow through
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted Dec 15, 2008 10:51 AM CST
Barack Obama is expected to nominate Lisa Jackson, former New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner, as head of the US Environmental Protection Agency today.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Lisa Jackson, Barack Obama’s choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency, will bring some controversy with her, ProPublica reports. Critics say that after promising to speed efforts to clean up toxic waste sites as New Jersey’s top environmental official, Jackson failed to follow through. A defender says Jackson was handicapped by the “lack of resources … at the top” under Gov. Jon Corzine.

A department scientist says she resigned after Jackson “ignored” a report about insufficient containment of chromium-laden waste, and a newspaper investigation suggests Jackson loosened chromium standards dramatically at the chemical industry’s behest. But she was a political appointee, says one conservationist, with political constraints. “Did she do everything I would have hoped for? No. But probably everything I would’ve hoped for was unreasonable.”