Wednesday, December 17, 2008

AAEA To Opponents Of Lisa Jackson: Leave Her Alone

AAEA believes published reports quoting opponents of President Obama's EPA Administrator-designee Lisa P. Jackson include petty complaints that do not merit opposing her nomination. Moreover, New Jersey environmental groups and her colleagues at EPA give her high marks for trying to promote Brownfield redevelopments and global climate change mitigation. AAEA supports Lisa Jackson's nomination to be administrator of the U.S. EPA and will aggressively promote her confirmation in the U.S. Senate.

Some of the critics are evidently attempting to apply 'purist' standards to Ms. Jackson's performance when she was Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP). They are criticizing her for 'being too close to industry,' being 'too slow' in implementing a proposed system to speed up the cleaning of New Jersey's abandoned toxic waste sites, outsourcing toxic site clean ups and chromium safety exposure levels. Yet there is nothing wrong with collaborating with industry groups for considering clean up strategies. The proposed clean up plan initiated by Ms. Jackson 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. Her support of a chromium safety standard or 20 parts per million instead of 10 parts per million in order to lift a moratorium on development of chromium-contaminated land strikes us as reasonable and shows a motivation to get these sites cleaned up for Brownfields redevelopment.

And let us say that trying to smear Ms. Jackson by using the Kiddie Kollege incident is just plain out mean spirited. She pushed the NJDEP to shut down the day care center as soon as inspectors confirmed that some mercury contamination remained at the site. Even the New Jersey Sierra Club said 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. Twisting this incident into Ms. Jackson somehow trying to willingly expose children to mercury is just pure evil. AAEA is not taking kindly to these spurious and surreptitious attempts at character assassination. (The Huffington Post, 12/17/08)

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