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State EPA Secretary to Retire

January 19, 2006|Janet Wilson | Time Staff Writer

California Environmental Protection Agency Secretary Alan Lloyd will step down at the end of February, a little more than a year after he was appointed, just as major battles are shaping up over the effects of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's far-reaching infrastructure and air emissions plans.

Lloyd, who turned 64 on Tuesday, said he was retiring for personal reasons. His wife remained in Reno while Lloyd took the post, overseeing half a dozen powerful air and water agencies in the state.

"Believe me, it's been a very tough and personal decision," Lloyd said. "I loved the job, I loved working for the people of California."

"His wife wanted him home," said a longtime friend.

Lloyd, a research scientist, was picked by Democratic Gov. Gray Davis to head the California Air Resources Board and later kept on by Schwarzenegger, a Republican, who appointed him to run the state EPA in December 2004. Lloyd led California's delegation to the global warming conference in Montreal last fall, where he promoted the state's plans to reduce greenhouse emissions by 50% by 2010. He said he planned to finish a report on achieving that target before he left.

"His legacy is really a global legacy," said environmental lobbyist V. John White, who has known Lloyd for more than 30 years. "The United States would have nothing to say to the rest of the world [on global warming] but 'We're sorry' except for California and the climate action plan targets. That was really his work, he spearheaded it."

Lloyd also co-chairs a task force with Sunne Wright McPeak, secretary of Business, Transportation and Housing, evaluating the governor's plan to triple goods movement across the state by 2020. Although environmentalists have been unhappy with the process and leery of possible concessions by state officials to industry, Lloyd said Schwarzenegger was making significant efforts to put more than $1 billion in bond money and permanent state funds into cleaning the air in local communities.

At the air board, Lloyd was perhaps best known for forcing car companies to develop electric cars and for formulating regulations to reduce tailpipe emissions of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. California is being sued by automakers over the proposed standards, but Lloyd said they were absolutely necessary for public health.

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