EPA Region 5 Chief Resigns after Dispute

Date: May 3, 2008

Source: News Room

The head of the US EPA's Midwest Office (Region 5) has resigned over a dispute with agency leadership involving enforcement actions against Dow Chemical Co. Mary Gade, whose departure is the latest in a string of public conflicts within the agency, is a former corporate attorney and Bush campaign adviser, who said that she had been forced to resign. The conflict appears to stem from failed negotiations between her office and Dow Chemical over cleanup actions related to dioxin contamination in the Tittabawassee River system. John Musser, a Dow Chemical spokesman, said that Ms. Gade's office asked Dow "to do things that were not consistent with national guidelines or national policy." Dow took its case to Washington where it argued unfair treatment by the local office. EPA director Stephen Johnson has been under fire by congressional democrats for overruling staff in disputes such as denying California permission to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions from automobiles, or even to formally declare greenhouse-gas emissions a threat to public welfare, a legal prerequisite to their regulation.

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