Monday, January 4, 2021

DEP Names Jim Miller Southwest Regional Office Director; John Holden Acting Director Of Northwest Regional Office

Effective January 2, Jim Miller became the regional director of the Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Southwest Regional Office. He replaces Ronald Schwartz, PE, BCEE, who recently retired after nearly 35 years of service. 

Miller, who previously led DEP’s Northwest Regional Office for four and a half years, will manage field operations for Allegheny, Beaver, Cambria, Fayette, Greene, Washington, Westmoreland, and Somerset counties.

John Holden, Clean Water Program Manager in DEP’s Northwest Regional Office, will serve as acting regional director for that office. 

“Jim brings a commonsense approach to management, and his experience in a variety of roles within DEP makes him the right leader at the right time. I am confident that Jim’s emphasis on relationship building will continue the Southwest’s progress in recent years,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. 

Miller has served DEP for over 30 years. Prior to being named regional director for DEP’s Northwest Regional Office, he was assistant regional director for the Northcentral Regional Office for six years after working his way up from inspector to program manager. 

Miller began his DEP career as an inspector in the Southeast Regional Office’s waste management program. 

Miller holds a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental biology from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. 

“I look forward to meeting with the various stakeholders in the southwest region and am excited for this opportunity to continue the work I’ve done in other regions promoting responsible development and environmental stewardship, two goals that are not mutually exclusive,” said Miller.

McDonnell points to Miller and Schwartz’s shared emphasis on communication and efficiency as constants for the region, “Jim and Ron are both natural problem solvers, a trait that has become a hallmark of each director’s career in public service and has furthered DEP’s mission.”

“Ron’s leadership was instrumental in DEP achieving a 90 percent reduction in the permitting backlog in the Southwest region during his tenure as regional director,” added McDonnell. “On behalf of DEP, I wish him all the best in his well-deserved retirement.” 

For more information on environmental programs in Pennsylvania, visit DEP’s website, Click Here to sign up for DEP’s newsletter, sign up for DEP Connects events, sign up for DEP’s eNotice, visit DEP’s BlogLike DEP on Facebook, Follow DEP on Twitter and visit DEP’s YouTube Channel.

[Posted: January 4, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

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