U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, considered a champion of the Chesapeake Bay, is leaving her post.
"I will leave the EPA confident the ship is sailing in the right direction, and ready in my own life for new challenges, time with my family and new opportunities to make a difference," Jackson wrote in a statement that the EPA released Thursday morning.
Although she did not mention the bay or water quality in her farewell statement, Jackson has been praised by environmentalists for her work on the Chesapeake.
Jackson has been visible in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, attending high-level meetings and other events that in the past had often been handled by lower-ranking EPA officials.
Jackson spent time chairing the Chesapeake Executive Council, the committee that sets official bay restoration policies. It's comprised of the EPA administrator, governors from bay-area states and a representative of state-level lawmakers.
Will Baker, president of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, praised Jackson, saying in a statement:
"Lisa Jackson courageously moved to end pollution in the Chesapeake Bay, a true national treasure. She worked to develop a Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint, which is in place, legally binding, and demonstrating what can happen when government, business and individuals cooperate ... All who love the Bay owe Ms. Jackson an enormous debt of gratitude."
Jackson did not announce any future plans and a successor has not yet been named.
Some have speculated that Jackson may be interested in getting involved in politics in New Jersey -- where she worked in state government before leading the EPA -- or becoming president of Princeton University, where she earned a master's degree in chemical engineering.
Distributed by MCT Information Services
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