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Abercrombie withdraws Salmonson pick for Environmental Quality Control post

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 07:15 p.m. HST, Oct 28, 2013

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has withdrawn Genevieve Salmonson's appointment as director of the state Office of Environmental Quality Control after it appeared she would not be confirmed by the state Senate.

Environmental and community groups had opposed Salmonson's nomination because of her role in the Lingle administration's exemption of $40 million in harbor improvements for Hawaii Superferry from environmental review.

Louise Kim McCoy, the governor's spokeswoman, said Salmonson had asked that her name be withdrawn because of personal reasons and that the governor "respects her wish to do so."

Salmonson, who was director of the OEQC at the time of the exemption, was one of several state officials who had some oversight responsibility over the Superferry project. Environmentalists have argued that she should have insisted on an environmental review.

The state Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that the exemption for Superferry was an error. The court ruled in 2009 that alternative environmental review process adopted by the Legislature was also unconstitutional, and the Superferry soon ended operations in the islands.

Abercrombie's aides had defended Salmonson as highly qualified and capable. She was first appointed as director of OEQC by Gov. Ben Cayetano in 1999 and served under Lingle until 2007.

Abercrombie appointed Salmonson in May as interim director of OEQC pending Senate confirmation. The Senate Energy and Environment Committee had scheduled a confirmation hearing for Salmonson for tomorrow morning, but several senators had said that her nomination was likely in trouble.

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Pocho wrote:
Good job Neil. Who's your next pick? hold back on the smoking a bit until you find the right person for the job.
on October 28,2013 | 07:06PM
Skyler wrote:
Just as many tie the Super Ferry to Lingle & her cabinet members, many will tie Abercrombie to SSM. We'll see what comes of it in the next election.
on October 28,2013 | 10:19PM
lihue96766 wrote:
Neil's been buying votes with our money for months now -- look at the increases given to each union -- remember he ran on "my mother had to beg to get a fair deal" -- then shut the teachers out....now he's going to run again, the pay raises are coming fast and furious, he's making up to everyone he denied after his "I support labor" campaign. Of course he'll be re-elected -- money talks. I'm not against fair increases for working people --just the way it's been done during the Neil years (or should that be kneel?)
on October 29,2013 | 05:38AM
allie wrote:
Neil may be ineffective but he is sly
on October 29,2013 | 09:29AM
holumuahawaii wrote:
Too bad. The State Senate is guilty of pandering to the Sierra Club. It us incredible that Abercrombie, the most liberal, left wing Governor in the US has been attacked so often from his own left.
on October 29,2013 | 01:18AM
danji wrote:
Neil you should not run for re-election. FACT almost all of your appointees have resigned or left your administrarion and your judgement of people are far fetched. This last withdrawn appointment(with all the acollades your stated how come you did not appoint her to you admin. when you got elected.
on October 29,2013 | 06:28AM
Honulove wrote:
Wow Star-Advertiser, no mention of the recently created petition with over 1,000 signatures and a letter from 10 environmental organizations? It is sad that it required such a heroic effort by concerned and engaged citizens to help our elected officials listen to reason. Perhaps the Governor will listen to advice sooner next time. This petition played a very big role in the Governor's decision........Abercrombie and the senators were given updates on signature counts throughout the day so they were very aware that opposition to Ms. Salmonson's appointment was growing by leaps and bounds.
on October 29,2013 | 06:44AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Keep in mind this is the same guy wants to build a 700' tower in a place where the sewers don't work. The guy who tried his best to push the PLDC through. The guy who wastes money having a special legislative sessions 60 days before the regular session. The guy who sneaks off to France and the East Coast to gobble special interest money. The guy....oh, you get the idea.
on October 29,2013 | 07:56AM
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