(Elaine Thompson/AP)

Gregoire, as director of Washington’s Department of Ecology, gained fame for negotiating a Hanford nuclear waste cleanup agreement with the first Bush administration, the Seattle Post Intelligencer reported.

On the other hand, she has been allied with agriculture and other business interests in a dispute over what the federal government should require in restoring salmon runs to the Columbia River system.

Gregoire, a two-term governor and before that a three-term attorney general, also was a strong Obama supporter in 2008.

Others who’ve been mentioned as contenders for the job include current deputy EPA administrator Bob Perciasepe, assistant administrator Gina McCarthy and Mary Nichols, who chairs the California Air Resources Board.