EPA official quits amid e-mail scrutiny

A senior Environmental Protection Agency official overseeing states in the West and Great Plains resigned Friday, amid intense congressional scrutiny over how EPA appointees have used personal e-mail addresses to conduct official business.

Region 8 administrator James Martin, whose office has jurisdiction over Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming and 27 tribal nations, resigned “for personal reasons” according to EPA spokeswoman Alisha Johnson.

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ONE-TIME ONLY USE. Scanning electron micrograph of a kidney stone (nephrolithiasis). Kidney stones form when salts, minerals and chemicals in the urine (for example calcium, oxalate and uric acid) crystallise and solidify. Small kidney stones are often passed naturally but larger stones can sometimes get lodged in the kidney or other parts of the urinary tract. Size of stone is 2 mm.

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Former EPA administrator Lisa P. Jackson had come under scrutiny for sending e-mails under the alias Richard Windsor, an account she named after her family dog. Now members of Congress are probing why acting EPA administrator Bob Perciasepe sent an e-mail to agency colleagues regarding hydraulic fracking from a personal account.

Senate Environment and Public Works Committee ranking member David Vitter (R-La.), who had been probing Martin’s activities along with House Republicans, said in a statement Tuesday, “Region 8 Administrator Martin is likely resigning this week in part because of the open investigation about his use of a non-official e-mail account to conduct official business.”

“Now we know that Lisa Jackson’s acting replacement, Bob Perciasepe, appears to have been doing the same thing to dodge the agency’s mandatory recordkeeping policy,” Vitter added. “EPA owes us all some answers about their absolute disregard for transparency, especially from their acting administrator or any potential nominee to be administrator.”

 
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