The Air, Superfund and Waste Divisions at U.S. EPA Region 5 all have new leadership, soon to be joined by the Office of Regional Counsel. Former Regional Administrator Francis X. Lyons recently spoke with these new program managers about their priorities and challenges for 2004.
U.S. EPA Region 5 is currently undergoing considerable change in senior career staff leadership, prompted by the retirement and reassignment of some long-serving senior managers. The new senior program managers bring experience and commitment to the Agency's mission, and are expected to generally stay the course.
Air and Radiation Division
Steve Rothblatt was recently named Director of the Air and Radiation Division. This position had previously been filled by a series of acting directors, following the elevation of previous Air Director Barat Mathur to the position of Deputy Regional Administrator two years ago. Mr. Rothblatt has already served in this position on an acting basis, and is a recognized authority in U.S. EPA's air programs.
Mr. Rothblatt's priorities for 2004 include working with states to speed up the pace of issuance of Title V permits, and designation of attainment and nonattainment areas for the new fine particulate ("PM 2.5") standard, as well as the new 8 Hour Ozone standard. He also intends to work closely with municipalities on homeland security monitoring, and promotion of pollution prevention activities.
Mr. Rothblatt expects to pursue strong compliance assurance and enforcement efforts. One particular area of interest will be compliance with new Maximum Achievable Control Technology ("MACT") standards in a variety of industries, i.e., aluminum recycling, pharmaceuticals, metal coatings and others.
Rick Karl was recently named Acting Director of the Superfund Division, following long-time Superfund Chief William Muno's temporary reassignment to assist the Regional Administrator with special projects, until his retirement from U.S. EPA this spring, after more than 30 years of service. Mr. Karl has served at U.S. EPA for 24 years, 17 of them in the Region 5 Superfund Division, and most recently as Chief of the Emergency Response Branch. Mr. Karl will continue to make the "polluter pays" principal the hallmark of the Region 5 Superfund program.
Private party contributions to Region 5 Superfund cleanups currently average 90% - a success rate that the Region wishes to maintain. The Region views this as...