By Anegla Dellisanti
Associated Press
December 11, 2008

TRENTON, N.J. – The former New Jersey governor who led the Environmental Protection Agency during the cleanup at the World Trade Center says the new nominee inherits an agency in disarray.

Christie Whitman, who infamously declared the air around lower Manhattan safe to breathe, says the new EPA chief must restore morale at the agency.

Whitman says President-elect Barack Obama’s EPA pick, Lisa Jackson, is well poised to do so.

Speaking on MSNBC, Whitman praised Jackson, saying she “brings credibility from the environmental community” to the job.

Jackson, a Princeton-educated chemical engineer, would become the first black woman to lead the agency. She worked at the federal agency for 16 years and is a former New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection commissioner.

Whitman led the EPA for 2 years.