Ken Ellison, Director of the Division of Land Restoration of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WV DEP), announced certain personnel changes at U.S. EPA Region 3 and WV DEP to attendees of the 2010 West Virginia Brownfields Conference held at the Charleston Marriott September 8 and 9, 2010. The announcements were made during the session on State and Federal Regulatory Updates.
With respect to changes at U.S. EPA Region 3, Director Ellison told those attending the conference that on July 6, 2010, Ronald Borsellino became the new Director of U.S. EPA Region 3’s Hazardous Site Cleanup Division. The Hazardous Site Cleanup Division oversees all activities regarding the Oil Pollution Act and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, commonly known as Superfund and is responsible for determining goals, priorities and objectives for the Superfund and oil programs as well as overseeing the work of federal responsible party cleanups. Among other responsibilities, the division develops strategy to reuse Superfund sites and supports the redevelopment of Brownfields. Director Borsellino is a career U.S. EPA professional. Before coming to U.S. EPA Region 3, he served in U.S. EPA Region 2 as the Acting Director of Planning and Protection, Deputy Director of Policy and Management, and Chief of the Air Programs Branch. Director Borsellino replaces Abraham Ferdas who is now Director of U.S. EPA Region 3’s Land and Chemicals Division. The Land and Chemicals Division’s responsibilities include, among other things, the public’s right-to-know about hazardous chemicals in their community, asbestos emissions, recycling and recovery; pesticides, and lead-based paint. It also regulates underground storage tanks containing petroleum or hazardous substances.
With respect to personnel changes at the WV DEP, Director Ellison announced that the Division of Land Restoration would be adding two new supervisory positions. By way of background, Director Ellison explained that the statistics indicated that up to fifty percent of the WV DEP staff would be eligible for retirement over the next couple of years and that Governor Manchin and WV DEP Secretary Huffman had directed the WV DEP to look at succession planning. Director Ellison emphasized that it was “extremely important” that the Division of Land Restoration have a “good working relationship” with the regulated community, licensed remediation specialists, developers, and others involved in remediation and redevelopment of sites that are contaminated or perceived to be contaminated in West Virginia. Director Ellison stated that to provide “customer service” the Division of Land Restoration needed to retain its knowledge and history of the “rhyme and reason” associated with the sites issued certificates of completion under the West Virginia Voluntary Remediation Program. He explained that to retain this institutional knowledge, new employees would need additional supervision. He stated that Don Martin would move to Deputy Director and that two new supervisory positions would be added – one supervisor/manager would be responsible for administrative matters, such as grant funds and leaking underground storage tank accounts, and the other supervisor/manager would be responsible for RCRA and Superfund sites. Finally, Director Ellison reported that both he and Don Martin are planning to retire within the next two years.
This article was authored by Gale Lea Rubrecht, Jackson Kelly PLLC. For more information on the author, see here.