EPA nominee wins Senate panel approval

EPA nominee wins Senate panel approval

A Senate committee today approved Stephen Johnson to be Environmental Protection Agency administrator and sent his nomination to the full Senate for consideration.

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee voted 17 to 1 for the acting EPA administrator after he pulled plans for a study that would have used children to study the effects of pesticides. The study would have given each participant's family nearly $1,000, a camcorder and children's clothes in the study area, Duval County, Fla., which includes Jacksonville.

Sen. Jim Jeffords (I-Vt.) said Johnson has the qualifications and experience to lead the agency and, "given the opportunity, could make a real difference at the agency and on environmental policy for all Americans." But he also urged the Bush administration to be a better steward of the environment. "It is time for the administration to open its eyes and see that the rest of the world is moving ahead on environmental issues while we stand in place or move backward," he said.

Johnson, who has been a career employee at the agency for 25 years, would be the first EPA administrator with a science background. He replaces Michael Leavitt, who left in January to become secretary of the Health and Human Services Department.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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