Gov. Jerry Brown has turned once again to the attorney general’s office in his selection today of J. Matthew Rodriquez to head the state’s Environmental Protection Agency.
Rodriquez, 59, the chief deputy attorney general under AG Kamala Harris, will have a wide portfolio as the CalEPA secretary. The agency oversees water issues, air pollution programs -- including efforts to regulate greenhouse gases -- and toxics control.
Richard Frank, the director of UC-Davis School of Law’s California Environmental Law and Policy Center, appointed Rodriquez to head of the AG’s land law section during his own three-decades-long tenure at the state the Department of Justice.
Rodriquez “has a strong and broad background and expertise in environmental and natural resources law,” Frank said. “He knows state government.”
Rodriquez actually served in Brown’s first gubernatorial administration as a program analyst in the Office of Planning and Research. After stints in two city attorneys’ offices, he joined the AG’s land law section in 1987 and became the lead litigation counsel for the California Coastal Commission. In 2008 Rodriquez became a chief assistant attorney general and has overseen the AG’s public rights division.
If confirmed by the state Senate, Rodriquez will join a half-dozen top administration officials already plucked by Brown from the attorney general’s office. They include Executive Secretary James Humes and Legal Affairs Secretary Jonathan Renner.
Rodriquez replaces Schwarzenegger appointee Linda Adams as CalEPA secretary.