Patrick-Murray Administration Announces Appointment of Kenneth Kimmell as Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner
Newton attorney served as General Counsel for the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs during Governor Patrick's first term
"The Commonwealth is fortunate to have someone with Ken's experience and intellect to lead the agency devoted to safeguarding our precious environmental assets - from clean water and air to tidelands and wetlands," Secretary-Designate Sullivan said. "I look forward to working with him as we set and carry out an agenda that ensures protection of our environment and a predictable regulatory structure for our business community."
"Laurie Burt has served as commissioner with great distinction, ably representing Massachusetts on the regional and national stage on greenhouse gas regulation and development of a regional low carbon fuel standard while deftly leading DEP through permit reform, development of a draft solid waste master plan, and many other initiatives," said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Ian Bowles, who steps down at the end of December. "Governor Patrick and I have been well served by her keen intellect, her expertise as one of the city's top environmental lawyers, and her leadership. I thank her for her service, and wish her all the best."
Formerly an attorney in private practice, where he focused on environmental and land use law and litigation, Kimmell has been the legal lead on all aspects of EEA's policy and program agenda during a period of tremendous change, challenge and opportunity. His accomplishments include spearheading state environmental permit processes to ensure "regulation at the speed of business," and overseeing the state permitting of the nation's first off-shore wind farm - Cape Wind. Kimmell also drafted and led a broad-based coalition in support of proposed wind energy siting reform legislation, and worked on a variety of other statutory and regulatory reforms including reorganization of the environmental secretariat and initiatives to promote renewable energy. Kimmell graduated from Wesleyan University and UCLA School of Law.
Under Commissioner Burt, MassDEP implemented the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the nation's first market-based "cap-and-trade" program to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from fossil-fueled electricity generating plants, and established the Massachusetts greenhouse gas emissions reporting system. Commissioner Burt also has been Governor Patrick's lead on development of a regional Low Carbon Fuel Standard for Massachusetts and 10 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states that would reduce our dependence on foreign fuels and promote more new low carbon alternatives, including electricity, natural gas and biofuels, for transportation. During her tenure, Massachusetts established an Energy Management Pilot program to reduce energy use in the treatment of wastewater and drinking water, saving cities and towns thousands of dollars on their electric bills while increasing the use of renewable energy technologies and reducing each plant's carbon footprint. This green infrastructure program was picked up by the Obama Administration as a condition of stimulus funding for public water treatment projects. Commissioner Burt also helped bring 18 state, federal and local environmental and economic development agencies together as part of the innovative Brownfields Support Team Initiative to target assessment and cleanup assistance to challenging Brownfields sites, especially in our Gateways cities and towns.
"I have been privileged to serve under Governor Patrick's leadership and that of Secretary Ian Bowles," said Commissioner Burt. "Governor Patrick was a true visionary in bringing environment and energy under the same roof, and together we have created a solid framework for a clean energy economy and a cleaner more sustainable environment. MassDEP is one of the leading state environmental protection agencies in the nation, and during the past three years we have continued to implement innovative programs that protect the environment, public health and help our economy. As I leave the agency, I will continue to advocate for clean air and water and the exciting opportunities available today and tomorrow from a thriving clean energy economy."
Kimmell, who has been with EEA since the start of Governor Patrick's term in 2007, will assume his new post at MassDEP in January.