EPA political appointees force out top Midwest regulator.

bushjohsn.gifThe Chicago Tribune reports that the Bush administration has forced Mary Gade — the EPA’s regulator for the Midwest — to resign today, “after months of internal bickering about dioxin contamination downstream from Dow Chemical’s world headquarters in Michigan.” In January, the Tribune says, “Dow officials urged officials at the EPA’s headquarters to intervene” and oust Gade; she said that EPA officials, including EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson, “repeatedly questioned her aggressive action against Dow.” The EPA forced Wade out despite giving her glowing reviews in the past:

Gade, who led the Illinois EPA under Republican Gov. Jim Edgar, previously had earned high marks from Bush administration officials and won praise from environmental groups that often are at odds with the federal agency. … When Johnson announced that the president had appointed Gade to the regional job in Chicago, he touted her “impressive environmental career” that began at the agency two decades earlier.

The Wonk Room’s Brad Johnson notes that Gade’s ouster resembles the U.S. attorney scandal: “It seems the EPA is following the Department of Justice‚Äôs efforts to rid itself of staffers who are not ‘loyal Bushies.'”