Catherine McCabe Excellent Choice DEP Commissioner
Today Governor-Elect Phil Murphy is announcing his appointment for New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner, Catherine McCabe. McCabe served as Acting Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency from January to February 2017, Acting Assistant Administrator of EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) from January to May 2009 and Acting Regional Administrator of EPA’s Region 2, based in New York City, from February to October 2017. She has also worked as an Assistant Attorney General in the Office of the Attorney General of the State of New York and has spent 22 years working in the Department of Justice, specializing in environmental issues. Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club, released the following statement:
“We think that Catherine McCabe is an excellent choice for Commissioner of the DEP under Governor Phil Murphy. She is a professional and a straight shooter that doesn’t play politics. This is exactly what New Jersey needs after eight years of the Christie Administration debacle. McCabe has integrity and professionalism, as well as many years of experience protecting the environment. We especially appreciate McCabe’s background in enforcement since we need someone to put some force back into the enforcement of the DEP. It’s going to be a difficult job, but we are confident that McCabe will hire intelligent and hardworking people to work alongside her in restoring the moral of the DEP.
“We believe that Catherine McCabe will put environmental protection back into the DEP and make sure the agency works for the people and not polluters. Her legal background will hopefully mean we won’t see any sell-out deals like Christie’s with Exxon. It’s important that McCabe can reinstate the power of the DEP in enforcing important environmental rules. It’s also important that she helps to create a system of strong regulations to protect our air, water, and open space. The NJDEP is an agency filled with hard-working environmentalists, but their moral has been devastated. We hope that under the leadership of McCabe, the agency can once again excel in protecting New Jersey’s natural resources and working for the communities of our state.
“From denying climate change to rolling back protections on drinking water to making contracts with special interests, Christie and Bob Martin’s DEP continuously sided against protecting the environment. Under the Christie Administration we have seen a 77 percent drop in enforcement actions from 2008 to 2013. They have rolled back important air and water protections including the Flood Hazard Rules. Christie even eliminated offices to deal with climate change and adaptation and mitigation to sea level rise and storm events. Under Christie, the DEP should have been called the ‘Department of Excess Pollution’ because they sided with polluters and special interests. Bob Martin was worst DEP Commissioner we’ve ever had. We believe that McCabe will do a great job to turn the agency around.
“We also believe that McCabe’s national experience will help us defend New Jersey from rollbacks from the Trump Administration. Trump has targeted the Atlantic and public lands for drilling and remove important climate protections. His Administration is siding with polluters and fossil fuels over renewable energy and protecting our air and water. We need a strong state DEP that will help build a green wall around New Jersey to not only protect us from federal rollbacks, but strengthen our own environmental protections.
“We hope that McCabe will help change the direction of the DEP by restoring its morale and making it a great agency once again. She comes with a strong environmental background and a recommendation from Lisa Jackson. We need to continue to work to bring in more qualified candidates with integrity and character to run agencies and clean house of Christie’s political appointees. We look forward to working with Catherine McCabe. We think we can get some really great things done together to make New Jersey a leader once again in environmental protection.”