Updated Dec. 27, 2:50 p.m.: Lisa P. Jackson released a statement thanking the president for his confidence in her abilities. Her appointment made her the first African American to hold the position.
There is much more on the agenda: air pollution, toxic chemicals and children's health issues, redevelopment and waste-site cleanup issues, and justice for the communities who bear disproportionate risk.
She said that she will leave the agency confident that the ship is sailing in the right direction, adding that she is ready for new challenges in her own life.
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, who engineered the most sweeping curbs on air pollution in two decades, announced Thursday morning that she will resign, the Washington Post reports. President Barack Obama released a statement praising her tenure.
Jackson, who will step down shortly after President Obama's State of the Union address next month, has not accepted another job at this time, according to several individuals who have spoken with her. Many expected she would not remain for the administration's second term; Jackson herself joked about it recently.
Outspoken on issues including climate change and the need to protect disadvantaged communities fromexperiencing a disproportionate amount of environmental harm, Jackson pressed for limits on emissions from coal-fired power plants as well as the dumping of mining waste into nearby streams and rivers.
The slew of rules EPA enacted over the past four years — including the first-ever greenhouse gas standards for vehicles, cuts in mercury and other toxic pollution from power plants and a tighter limit on soot, the nation's most widespread deadly pollutant — prompted many congressional Republicans and business groups to suggest Jackson was waging a "war on coal." But it also made Jackson a hero to the environmental community, who viewed her as their most high-profile advocate within the Obama administration.