A Great Environmental Steward

President Obama and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson today appointed Judith Enck as the head of EPA's key region two office, the office that handles environmental issues in New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and seven Tribal Nations.

I worked closely with Judith for eight years at the New York Attorney General's office, and I know from personal experience that she will bring exciting energy, skills, and strategy - and a wealth of experience -- to the EPA. There are few people more committed to protecting our communities and public health.

Judith, for example, has an uncanny ability to get things done. During the dark days of the Bush years, the states often found themselves challenging federal efforts to weaken environmental safeguards.  We often formed coalitions of states and sued the federal government.  Judith kept these coalitions together with her ability to talk to everyone, make sure the needs of the many states were met, and lead by example. And mostly we won.

During the eight years we worked together, Judith also showed herself to be out to be a top listener.  She met with all sorts of people, groups, companies and organizations.  She listened to their concerns about the environment - whether pro or con - and took them seriously.  The solutions we tried to get in place reflected that broad input.

There are a number of tough environmental challenges we now face and we need to explore new ideas, as well as have the courage to stick to tried and true programs that work but that have been unfairly maligned.  Judith is both creative and will be open to new ideas, and experienced, and knows what works and what doesn't.

She will be an excellent leader for EPA region 2. And we look forward to working with Judith to achieve meaningful results to protect New York and New Jersey's environment.