Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Obama Nominates Jim Jones to Officially Head EPA Toxics Office

The White House has announced that President Obama will nominate long-time EPA leader Jim Jones to be the Assistant Administrator of the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP).  Jones has been acting chief of the office since the departure of Steve Owens last October.  Jones' nomination must be confirmed by the Senate, a prospect that led some to believe Obama would not officially nominate anyone during this contentious election year.  Another nominee, Ken Kopocis to be Assistant Administrator of the Office of Water, has been held up by Republicans critical of ongoing rulemaking from that office.

Jones has previously served as Deputy Assistant Administrator in the Office of Air and Radiation as well as Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. He previously also was Director of the Office of Pesticide Programs and "held a series of management positions in the EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs" in a career that goes back to 1991 at EPA.

The Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention is charged with overseeing EPA's regulation of industrial chemicals and pesticides. EPA and many of the Office's programs have been mired in a seemingly constant battle to maintain funding for "protection of human health and the environment" as Congress tries to limit EPA's ability to do so.  Several initiatives and rulemakings have also been hung up under review at the Office of Management and Budget.

The White House announcement of this and other key administration posts can be read here.

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