"EPA Attorneys Criticize Obama Nominee"

"The Obama administration's nomination of Ignacia Moreno to head the environment division of the Department of Justice is moving quietly through the confirmation process, with hearings expected to begin in the next few weeks. Moreno has worked for the environment division before, during the Clinton administration. But her most recent job -- as environmental counsel for General Electric -- has raised eyebrows among Environmental Protection Agency attorneys. Before Moreno worked for GE, she spent five years defending other companies in pollution-related lawsuits.

Six EPA attorneys interviewed by ProPublica criticized the nomination, but asked that their names not be used in this story because they fear retribution. They said they doubt that anyone who has recently defended GE would be effective in the role.

For decades, the EPA has clashed with GE over the many toxic waste sites the company has been linked to through the Superfund program. For the past two years, Moreno has defended GE in some of these cases. Now, if her nomination is confirmed, she will be one of the government's top enforcement lawyers for the Superfund program and other environmental laws."

Joaquin Sapien reports for ProPublica July 7, 2009.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009