Monday, December 22, 2008

Center Supports Lisa Jackson for EPA Administrator

The Center supports Lisa Jackson's nomination to be administrator of the U.S. EPA and will aggressively promote her confirmation in the U.S. Senate. Ms. Jackson's performance when she was Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) combined with her almost two decades with the U.S. EPA have prepared her to lead the agency. Below are some of the issues we believe she has handled appropriately and that show her readiness to be the administrator. We will publicize more of these issues and decisions in the coming weeks.

The proposed plan initiated by Ms. Jackson for cleaning up New Jersey's abandoned toxic waste is projected to be completed in 2009 and complaints about polluting companies 'potentially' using their own subcontractors for clean up sounds sort of like 'polluter pays' to us. She supported reasonable chromium safety standards to lift a moratorium on development of chromium-contaminated land in order to get these sites cleaned up for Brownfields redevelopment.

The Center supports the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and Jackson's plan adequately supports the goals of the other signatory states. The [New Jersey] Global Warming Response Act just passed in 2007 requires NJDEP to develop a pollution monitoring and reporting program by January 2009, a plan to achieve the 2020 limit by no later than June 2008, and a plan to achieve the 2050 limit no later than June 2010. She submitted the plan. It is a major challenge for the RGGI signatories to meet the reduction goals just as it is the signatories of the Kyoto Protocol, who are not meeting the goals.

She has issued a stream protection order that protects areas within 300 feet of waterbodies from being developed. This action is designed to protect creeks and rivers, eagle habitat and eagles. NJ PEER compliments Lisa Jackson for offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the apprehension of the person who cut down a tree with a bald eagle’s nest. Eagles have recovered all over the Lower 48 and should be taken off the Endangered Species List.

She pushed the NJDEP to shut down the Kiddie Kollege daycare center as soon as inspectors confirmed that some mercury contamination remained at the site. The New Jersey Sierra Club points out that Ms. Jackson was not to blame for the Kiddie Kollege incident and blamed New Jersey's former environmental commissioner for removing the site from the state's list of contaminated sites.

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