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US environmental agency chief to resign

US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Lisa Jackson announced today that she will leave her post in early 2013.

Jackson, a chemical engineer, was a founding member of US President Barack Obama’s scientific dream team of agency chiefs appointed in 2009. Since then, she has championed tighter pollution standards and worked to reign in greenhouse gases, even as the Obama administration backed away from its early pledges to tackle climate change. During Jackson’s tenure, the EPA opened the door to regulation by declaring greenhouse gases a public-health threat, created the first greenhouse-gas standards for motor vehicles and established tougher air-pollution standards for power plants.

For her efforts, Jackson faced opposition from all sides. Republican lawmakers harshly questioned her for promoting ‘anti-business’ policies, and the White House punted her proposals for tougher smog regulations until after the 2012 election.

Jackson will remain in her position until after Obama’s State of the Union address next year. No word yet on who will step in to fill her position, but deputy administrator Robert Perciasepe will fill in if needed until the next appointee is approved.

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