We’ve been waiting quite some time for an announcement, and got the news today: EPA has announced the Obama Administration’s appointment of Dennis J. McLerran to be Regional Administrator for the region that includes Idaho. (Region 10 is comprised of Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Pacific Northwest Indian Country. Its headquarters is in Seattle. )
Because Idaho has declined to administer many of its own environmental programs, EPA has significant jurisdiction in our state, and the Regional Administrator is Idaho’s ultimate environmental decision-maker in many instances. The Regional Administrator will be responsible for guiding EPA’s role in the Coeur d’Alene basin mine waste cleanup and Clean Water Act permitting. It is probably one of the most important government offices for Idaho not actually based in Idaho.
McLerran comes highly regarded, with lots of state and local government experience and a strong background in clean air. He was Executive Director of the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, a regional entity that adopts and enforces air quality standards in Washington.
We look forward to meeting with the new Regional Administrator and working with him on environmental protection in North Idaho.