Robert Martin marked Earth Day by resigning yesterday from his position as ombudsperson for the U.S. EPA. Martin, who has held the post since 1992, was well-regarded by environmentalists for his handling of complaints about cleanups conducted under the EPA’s Superfund program, but less beloved by higher-ups at the agency. In November, EPA Administrator Christie Whitman announced plans to transfer Martin to the Office of Inspector General, a move she said would grant him greater independence. Martin begged to differ; he chalked up his resignation to the “untenable situation” with Whitman, but could return to his job if his legal maneuverings to block the transfer are successful.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.