What happens when a corporate lobbyist heads a state DEP?
Under Gov. Paul LePage, Maine's Department of Environmental Protection has been headed by a woman who was the lobbyist for the chemical, oil, drug, waste, automotive, and development industries.
My seven-month, five article investigation of what's happened under her watch started running in yesterday's Maine Sunday Telegram. (Don't miss the companion stories on land enforcement and intimidation of staff.) The second installment -- on commissioner Patricia Aho's oversight of a program to protect babies and children from toxic chemicals -- is on the front of today's Portland Press Herald. The series wraps up tomorrow with a piece on Aho's moves against recycling programs opposed by some of her former lobbying clients.
I am an award-winning journalist and author of American Nations, American Character, Ocean's End, The Lobster Coast, and The Republic of Pirates. I'm a staffer at the Portland Press Herald, where I won a 2012 George Polk Award for my investigative reporting and was named a 2016 Pulitzer Prize finalist.