Former EPA chief Jackson sounds off on email probe

The EPA’s internal watchdog is looking into the agency’s record-keeping habits in response to inquiries from congressional Republicans.

House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) first called for the probe in January after discovering Jackson maintained an agency email account under the alias “Richard Windsor.”

Republicans and watchdog groups contend the EPA might be attempting to skirt public records laws by conducting official business through non-government email addresses.

The EPA has defended its use of the email accounts, and says all correspondence from those handles is handed over in public records requests. It says the practice dates back to former President George W. Bush's administration — a point that Jackson referenced Tuesday.

While Jackson has departed the EPA, her interim replacement, Bob Perciasepe, sent a memo to staff Monday vowing to improve the agency’s records management.

The memo cast the initiative as both a long-term effort to meet President Obama’s transparency goals, as well as cooperation with the ongoing review by the EPA’s internal watchdog.

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