Biden appoints EPA regional chiefs and agriculture officials

President Biden yesterday appointed several high-level appointees to federal positions across the country, including regional administrators at the EPA.

The White House announced the administrators for EPA Regions 6, 7 and 9.

Earthea Nance has been appointed EPA Region 6 Administrator. The region, its main office in Dallas, oversees agency operations in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

Nance is a Texas Southern University professor who focuses on urban planning and environmental policy. She was also the Director of Disaster Mitigation and City Planning for New Orleans and holds a PhD in Environmental Engineering from Stanford University as well as a Masters and D ‘a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Davis.

Earlier this year, environmental leaders recommended Nance and others for the Region 6 position in a letter to Administrator Michael Regan.

Adrian Shelley, director of Public Citizen’s Texas office, said in a statement that Nance was “a champion of environmental justice” and “a strong choice” for the region.

“From his humanitarian work in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina to his expertise in flooding and recovery from Hurricane Harvey, Dr. Nance puts communities and people at the forefront of his work,” said said Shelley, who also signed the letter of support to Nance and others for the post.

The Biden administration has also appointed Meg McCollister as the EPA Region 7 administrator.

Born in Kansas, McCollister received her BA from the University of Kansas and a JD from the University of Missouri at Kansas City Law School. She then moved to California and served on the board of directors for Sonoma County Conservation Action. McCollister has since returned to the Midwest, working as an advisor on environmental and social initiatives.

“Meg brings extensive community organizing and stakeholder engagement experience. I know she will ensure that the voices of Region 7 are heard on key issues and I am very happy to welcome her. in the team, “Regan said in a statement.

Region 7 is headquartered in Lenexa, Kansas, and manages EPA operations in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska.

Martha Guzman has been appointed EPA Region 9 administrator. Its main office is in San Francisco and it manages agency operations in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada and the Pacific Islands.

For the past five years, Guzman has served as a commissioner with the California Public Utilities Commission, appointed by the government of the day. Jerry Brown (D). Previously, she was assistant secretary for legislative affairs in the governor’s office and also worked for the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation and the United Farm Workers.

“I am honored to be appointed by President Biden to serve as the EPA Region 9 Administrator under the leadership of Administrator Regan. And I am grateful to have the opportunity to work with the EPA. resilient staff in Region 9 as we tackle chronic and emerging environmental issues in our communities, ”Guzman said in a statement.

A regional EPA administrator is a coveted position in every administration. Lawmakers, environmental organizations and other interested parties are supporting successful candidates and lobbying the White House and the EPA to help them get the job (Green wire, July 20).

The EPA has 10 regional administrators, who do not require confirmation from the Senate. Before yesterday’s announcement, the administration had appointed five to the agency (Green wire, November 19).

EPA now only needs to staff its Boston and Seattle offices with a designated regional administrator.

Department of Agriculture

The White House also announced four regional appointments to the Department of Agriculture.

The administration said it chose Jim Barber, a fifth generation farmer in New York City, to be that state’s executive director for the Farm Service Agency, which oversees many grassroots agricultural programs at the local level. He held the same position during the Obama administration.

Barber has served as president of the New York State Vegetable Growers Association and a member of the board of directors of the New York Farm Bureau.

The administration also announced that it will appoint John Perdue as executive director of the West Virginia FSA. Perdue, who grew up on a tobacco and vegetable farm, served six terms as elected state treasurer in West Virginia and is a former Assistant Commissioner of Agriculture there.

The administration also announced two appointments to state-level rural development offices, which cover loans, grants and other programs for water and sewage systems and other infrastructure. .

Kyle Wilkens will head the rural development office in Missouri, the administration said, and Rhiannon Hampson will head the office in Maine.

Wilkens was trained in Congress, having served as director of rural policy for Democratic Missouri Rep. Emanuel Cleaver and formerly on staff for the late Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.).

Hampson owns an organic dairy and dairy farm in Maine and served as District Director for Agriculture and Environmental Issues for Representative Chellie Pingree (D-Maine).

Journalist Mike Lee contributed.

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