Archive for Tuesday, March 13, 2012

EPA leader discusses pollution, stresses importance of regulations

March 13, 2012


ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY ADMINISTRATOR LISA JACKSON speaks at a forum with Chris Brown, a professor in Kansas University’s environmental studies program, Monday at KU’s Spooner Hall.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY ADMINISTRATOR LISA JACKSON speaks at a forum with Chris Brown, a professor in Kansas University’s environmental studies program, Monday at KU’s Spooner Hall.

From offshore drilling to the Baker Wetlands, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson tackled some of the nation and state’s most controversial environmental issues Monday afternoon.

“I’m here today because so much of what I do every day is really about your future, and you have the power to influence the direction we go,” Jackson told the crowd of students and faculty that had gathered at Kansas University’s Spooner Hall.

Jackson, the first African-American woman to head the federal environmental regulatory agency, told the audience that she came to her role of protector of the environment not by the Teddy Roosevelt ideal of preserving pristine open spaces. Instead, she said her concern was in the “brownside” of the environment and ways to curb pollution.

“I always tease people I don’t sleep outside, but I do my job to make sure you can,” Jackson said.

Jackson acknowledged the criticism the agency has fallen under in recent years from those who believe environmental regulation has “hobbled” the economy.

Jackson went on to defend her agency, saying it is consistent with American values to not let industries pollute water with raw sewage, to keep vehicles from emitting lead toxins, to limit the mercury pollution coming from power plants and to monitor the chemicals used in producing food.

“We won’t back down from protecting our kids from mercury pollution, or making sure that our food is safe and our water is clean,” Jackson said.

Jackson did address one controversial local issue, the building of the South Lawrence Trafficway through the Baker Wetlands south of Lawrence. The area has been marked as a sacred space for Native Americans. Jackson was asked what role the EPA played in recognizing spiritual places in the siting process.

Tribes are given special roles in the consultation process, she said.

“I think when you talk about tribes that for many, many decades now, they have felt as though they don’t have the opportunity to move or be mobile, so their cultural sites are extremely important,” Jackson said. “For those reasons, finding out what those issues are is what the law says we should do.”

And, as someone who grew up in New Orleans, Jackson said she recognizes the importance that wetlands play in flood prevention.

“When we didn’t have them to break the impact of Hurricane Katrina, we missed them tremendously,” Jackson said.


Mike Ford 3 years, 1 month ago

Mrs. Jackson came from New Jersey where the Ford Motor Company dumped toxic waste neat the Ramapough Lenape people's settlements. Mrs. Jackson went after Ford for cleanup money to try and stop affecting these indigenous people. There's a documentary on YouTube about this.

DeckDoctors 3 years, 1 month ago

She like her boss is posturing and disingenuous about protecting children. The ridiculous law ordering us to use mercury filled light bulbs in our homes could not bring the danger closer to our children. Another liberal hypocrite running their mouth while worshiping at the alter of Eco-terrorism and high priest Algore.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 1 month ago

"Regulations" is just another example of a word that conservatives (AKA corporate plutocrats) have attempted to turn into a dirty word.

Regulations certainly need to be carefully tailored to have the desired effect, but the real fact is that regulations are necessary, and they have transformed the world for the better in countless ways. Sure, they have associated costs, but nowhere near the costs that knee-jerk resistance to regulation has.

pace 3 years, 1 month ago

Oh yes, I think we should get rid of the watch dog agencies. All my children need standing upstream between them and Koch is Governor Brownback. As a good christian he will protect my babies. He knows enough about water and stuff like that. Just good common sense. running water just makes all the poison just disappear and the wind blows away the rest. It is one of the miracles of the church. Trust him with my life, my land, my home, my money. What else is great I don't have to think about stuff like that. I can leave it all to him. Trust B. Well maybe not with money, land, home or life.maybe I don't trust him.
From 1999 to 2003, Koch Industries was assessed "more than $400 million in fines, penalties and judgments. I think they have so much political clout they only got caught when people died and the rivers ran black. Cost of doing business, someone has to pay it. Corporate welfare.

Flap Doodle 3 years, 1 month ago

The Feds wanting more power and more regulation, who'd have imagined that?

pace 3 years, 1 month ago

I want industry to be regulated and monitored on dumping their pollution. I am sorry you would prefer me to pick up their expenses,. You seem so sincere about the feds not regulating. I have to say it, your feelings mean nothing to me compared to how I feel about unregulated free dumping by industry. I don't read or buy religious tracts about having faith in industries to self regulate. I think they would be thrilled to dump toxic waste for free. Brownback has politicized our state agencies to be sensitive to industries needs. You should pray the EPA regulates. I demand regulation of industrial pollution both on the federal and the state level. Other people wanted Brownback for governor.

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