Former CT DEP chief may take over at EPA

Connecticut’s former top environmental official — Gina McCarthy — is reported to be leading the short list to take over the top slot at the Environmental Protection Agency. McCarthy currently runs the air division there as the assistant administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation.

Reuters is reporting that President Obama is leaning toward appointing McCarthy to succeed EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson who announced her resignation in December. But the story also indicated that Jackson’s deputy, Bob Perciasepe, was still in the mix.

McCarthy was appointed to run the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (when it was still called that) in 2004 by Gov. M. Jodi Rell. She joined the Obama administration’s EPA in 2009. She had previously served as an environmental adviser in Massachusetts to then-Gov. Mitt Romney.

McCarthy was instrumental in the formation of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and helped Connecticut become part of that in addition to championing other environmental programs including the ongoing education effort — No Child Left Inside. While outspoken and pro-active, she was highly regarded on both sides of the political aisle and by the environmental community.

“She’d be a great choice if selected,” said Department of Energy and Environmental Protection spokesman Dennis Schain who worked under McCarthy for about five years. “She had an outstanding record in Connecticut. She was well liked and admired here.”