Capitol Alert

Head of California conservation agency resigns

Leader of Legislative budget committee pans oversight of injection program

State Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, the chairman of the legislative budget conference committee, told panel members Friday that the state has done a poor job protecting groundwater from contamination. That's particularly bad because the state i
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State Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, the chairman of the legislative budget conference committee, told panel members Friday that the state has done a poor job protecting groundwater from contamination. That's particularly bad because the state i

Mark Nechodom, director of the embattled California Department of Conservation, has resigned.

The resignation, confirmed by the Natural Resources Agency on Friday, comes amid scrutiny of the department over its regulation of the state’s oil industry, including letting oil drillers inject wastewater into wells in protected aquifers.

Nechodom, who was appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown in December 2011, resigned in a one-paragraph letter to Natural Resources Secretary John Laird on Thursday. He gave no reason for his departure but said he has “appreciated being part of this team and helping to guide it through a difficult time.”

Except for confirming Nechodom’s resignation, the resources agency declined to comment.

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