Dr. Al Resigns

by jim on April 30, 2012

We learned this morning  that Dr. Al Armendariz has resigned as EPA Region 6 Administrator. He made the decision himself, because he believed it was best for the causes that he continues to serve. Reportedly, EPA Administrator Jackson wanted to keep fighting, but Dr. Al said no, he didn’t want an investigation by the likes of Smokey Joe Barton and Company taking up the Agency’s time and resources and involving so many people in and outside of the agency. The resignation is effective immediately today. Sam Coleman, head of the Region 6 Superfund program, and former head of Enforcement for Region 6 becomes Acting Regional Director, a position he’s likely to remain in until after the November election. Words cannot convey the very deep sorrow, or the immense anger this resignation generates. Sorrow that such a hard-working public servant will no longer be able to do the job he loved, and that we loved him doing. Anger that a handful of powerful polluters and their friends can so easily smear such a good person. Dr. Armendariz isn’t sure what he’s going to do now, but  will undoubtedly keep doing the work he was doing before he got to EPA.  As must we. If there’s any lesson we’ve learned over the last 20 years, it’s that you can’t let setbacks like this deter you. This is a hard one to take, but we have to pick ourselves up and adapt and keep going. This is the statement he released today to the Dallas Morning News……..”Dear Friends, I have been honored to serve as your regional administrator for EPA’s region 6 office the last 2 and ½ years. I never once forgot that the reason I was appointed was to serve you, to act as your voice, and to work day and night to better protect the environment and your safety.Today I am resigning my position as regional administrator. This was not something that was asked of me by Administrator Jackson or the White House. It is a decision I made myself. I had become too much of a distraction, and no one person is more important than the incredible work being done by the rest of the team at EPA. I leave with an incredible sense of pride for the things the Agency accomplished and it was fantastic to be a part of the effort. Administrator Jackson has overseen a renaissance in the Agency and it is again the global leader in environmental protection. President Obama has been incredibly supportive of me and my work and the Agency. He’ll undoubtedly go down as the most environmental president we have ever had. Thank you all for letting me into your homes and communities, and showing me the challenges you face every day from pollution and lack of infrastructure. Your stories are now part of my fabric and the fabric of the Agency. Best always, Al Armendariz.”

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