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Sen. Rockefeller among candidates for EPA post

State Sen. Phil Rockefeller is being considered for appointment to the post of regional administrator for the federal Environmental Protection Agency, the Bainbridge Island resident confirmed Thursday.

Rockefeller said he has been contacted by a committee vetting possible appointees for Region 10 administrator, which oversees the agency in Alaska, Washington Idaho and Oregon. Rockefeller said it was unclear whether the White House or the agency would be making the selection, or when the selection will be made.

But the senator said he would likely accept the nomination if it were offered.

“I would be honored if I could help the administration face the enormous environmental challenges we have,” said Rockefeller, who added that he was not counting on the appointment.

“I love my work as a legislator and I will continue to serve my constituents with great enthusiasm,” Rockefeller said.

A decision on the appointment could be months away, as the White House has yet to fill key posts in the EPA, including deputy administrator.

Rockefeller has experience in federal government, most extensively in the U.S. Department of Education where he held posts as regional commissioner and regional administrator for the Office of Student Financial Assistance.

As a legislator, Rockefeller has focused much of his attention on environmental and energy policy.

He chairs the senate Environment, Water and Energy Committee. Rockefeller was named “Legislator of the Year” by Washington Conservation Voters in 2007, after helping to create the Puget Sound Partnership.

According to 23rd Legislative Democrats Chair Rob Gelder, if Rockefeller were appointed to the EPA post, Democratic precinct committee officers in the 23rd LD would be charged with nominating three candidates to fill his senate seat.

The Kitsap County Board of Commissioners would then pick a replacement from the three nominees to be seated by the Senate.

Check back to BainbridgeReview.com for updates.

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