In my view, we need people with thorough scientific and engineering backgrounds in leadership positions at EPA. But now it seems we have a historian (with a law degree) appointed as head of EPA’s Region 7, based in Kansas City.

As reported in the Kansas City Business journal:

President Barack Obama has selected a University of Kansas professor as regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 7, based in Kansas City, Kan.

The EPA said in a release Wednesday that Karl Boyd Brooks was selected to lead the region, which includes the states of Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska and nine Tribal Nations. …

Brooks has served as a KU history and environmental studies professor for the last 10 years and previously was the executive director of the Idaho Conservation League. He also served six years in the Idaho Senate.

It’s not that I don’t think he’s a smart guy and means well, and being a professor is not a negative. However, people with technical training can readily comprehend and utilize our legal/regulatory frameworks, while the converse is not true: environmental studies/history types just don’t have the background to learn many important aspects of environmental issues, particularly those associated with pollution and pollution control. That’s why I’ve been very pleased with choice of Lisa Jackson, trained as a chemical engineer, as head of EPA, as discussed here.