Thursday, December 13, 2018

Meet the New Boss . . .

Same as the old boss? I guess we'll see: EPA Names Dana Aunkst Director of Chesapeake Bay Program
Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the selection of Dana Aunkst as the new Director of EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program.

“Dana has the leadership skills, experience and commitment we need to lead the Chesapeake Bay Office,” said EPA Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio. “He has tremendous skill at building partnerships and creating a shared vision among geographically diverse stakeholders. His experience and relationships with multiple agencies will serve us and our partners well as we accelerate efforts to safeguard the Chesapeake Bay and its living resources.”

“This is a tremendous opportunity to build upon the accomplishments to date by EPA and its partners,” said Dana Aunkst. “I look forward to working collaboratively with our stakeholders in protecting our nation’s largest estuary and the local waterways throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.”

Aunkst has extensive environmental and regulatory experience working 33 years in private industry and local and state government. During his tenure at the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) which began in 2002, Aunkst served in executive level positions as Deputy Secretary and Acting Secretary. As the Deputy Secretary for Field Operations, he directed the operations of six regional offices in implementing the full array of state and federal environmental regulations.

As Executive Deputy Secretary for Programs, Aunkst directed the activities of more than 2,000 professional and technical staff engaged in all aspects of environmental protection. While serving as Deputy Secretary for Water, he oversaw programs for surface and groundwater quality, soil and water conservation, public water supply withdrawals, sewage facilities planning, point source sewage and industrial discharges, flood protection and stream improvements. In this position, Aunkst led the change to resuscitate Pennsylvania’s Chesapeake Bay restoration effort by authoring the 2016 Pennsylvania Chesapeake Bay Reboot Strategy.

Aunkst holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Penn State University and is a licensed professional engineer in Pennsylvania. His appointment will be effective December 23, 2018.
I like the fact that he's been in both government and private positions, but I reserve judgement. I've never noticed much change for better or worse when the Bay Program has changed leaders in the past.

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