President Obama proposed his new EPA Administrator to Congress today, and she's a familiar face in Stoughton. Gina McCarthy served as the Town's health agent in the 1980's. The Canton native has made a name for herself as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Assistant Administrator. She currently heads the EPA's Office of Air and Radiation. She got her career start in Canton as the Public Health Agent, before sliding over to Stoughton as Environmental Officer here. She's known as a straight-shooter, who avoids political correctness, and lets her opinions fly. She also has a sense of humor, as well.
Some of her priorities may have been outlined last week when she was a speaker at a conference at Georgetown Climate Center. She said, "We try to bridge the gap between the energy and environmenal worlds so that people can have nice electricity to turn on, and they can also have heat to keep them warm, and they can also have clean air to breathe."
President Obama joked about her Boston accent, during the announcement of her appointment, adding, "Now, you wouldn't know from talking to her, but Gina is from Boston. And one of her proudest moments was yelling 'Play ball!' at Fenway Park before a Red Sox game. But Gina has got plenty more to be proud of. As a top environmental official in Massachusetts and Connecticut, she helped design programs to expand energy efficiency and promote renewable energy. As Assistant EPA Administrator, Gina has focused on practical, cost-effective ways to keep our air clean and our economy growing. She’s earned a reputation as a straight shooter. She welcomes different points of views. I’m confident that she’s going to do an outstanding job leading the EPA."
Former Judge and Stoughton Town Manager Attorney Frank Crimmins remembers Gina very well. He tells Snyder's Stoughton, "She served the town of Stoughton at a crtiical time, when the water issue was prominent. She assisted the Board of Health and Conservation Commission by drafting the aquifer protection here. She's very bright and very funny, She served the state and federal government in several capacities. She's,more than ready to head up the EPA. It's wonderful that she has been asked to fill that very imprtant position. She knows the regulatory scheme of everything she's been asked to do better than anybody. She has the ability to weight the different stakeholders and come up with practical solutions."
Facilities Maintenance Manager and former Building Inspector Bob Grover worked with McCarthy at Town Hall in Stoughton. He tells me, "I made numerous trips with her on violations. She was knowledgable and extremely dedicated to her work, and I can't say enough good things about her. She was charming, smart and on the ball. She was also very friendly. She joined my wife and I at our house for dinner in Norwood a couple of times."
Stoughton's current Environmental Affairs Office, James Conlon, writes, "We worked together closely in many public health issues, including: the Board of Health Hazardous Waste Site Cleanup Subcommittee, Town's Hazardous Ground Water Protection by-law, the design plan review and construction of on-site sewage disposal facilities, our well regulations, Community Sanitation, Housing, Food Service sanitation, and other projects. I recall her steel determination, sharp wit and sense of humor in working with her. Gina became the First Environmental Affairs Officer in the Town in 1990. She left this job shortly after leaving the Town of Stoughton to work for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Division of Toxic Use and Reduction (TURA). She was shortly after appointed by Governor Mitt Romney to the elevated position of Deputy Director of the Department of Environmental Affairs."
Conlon adds, "I last spoke with Gina a few years ago when she was Director of Environmental Affairs of the State of Connecticut. She is truly a national treasure. The Republicans will most likely approve of this nomination. She went to the top for a good reason. If you never met Gina, you will all soon see why. From my personal and professional experience in working with Gina, it is the best executive decision for our country and on the global scale. Stoughton has tremendous reason to be proud!"
Stoughton has been more and more on the national scene. Current U.S. Senator William "Mo" Cowan, an interim appointment, lives in Stoughton.
(Photo courtesy of EPA)
Originally Posted on March 4, 2013 @ 5:15 p.m. Updated on March 5, 2013 @ 3 p.m.)