Governor’s head of Environmental Quality to step down [UPH Wire]

**attached contains the following: *
For Immediate Release
Contact: Aimee Edwards
edwards@utah.gov
801.755.3085

Governor’s head of Environmental Quality to step down

SALT LAKE CITY (April 23, 2015) – After serving six years as executive
director of the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Amanda Smith
will leave her post effective on May 22 to pursue opportunities in the
private sector.

“It’s a difficult decision because I have enjoyed working with such a high
caliber staff at DEQ,” Smith said. “But I leave at a time when many great
things set the stage for a smooth transition.”

Gov. Gary Herbert praised Smith for her ability to solve environmental
issues through collaboration and improve the agency’s efficiency by
removing bureaucratic roadblocks, which in the end result in better environmental protection.

“Amanda’s leadership on environmental issues, perhaps most notably air
quality, has changed the conversation in this state,” Gov. Herbert said.
“She has been a valuable member of my Cabinet and a tremendous public
servant who realizes we face unique challenges in Utah and we are
determined to find Utah solutions. Her work to improve air quality in the
Uinta Basin is a prime example of her leadership. We are not simply waiting
for the federal government to declare the area to be in nonattainment of
standards, we are making significant improvements now.”

Smith has overseen sweeping changes in the agency to provide industry with
timely permits and speedy appeal procedures as well as re-organization of
the regulatory boards. Additionally, she has been at the helm through some
of the most controversial environmental issues: depleted uranium disposal,
an air quality State Implementation Plan for PM2.5 and the Red Butte oil
spill.

“Amanda has always been open to new ways of solving problems and listening
to all perspectives,” said Steve Sands, chairman of the air quality board
and director of external affairs for Rio Tinto Kennecott.

During Smith’s tenure, DEQ has made it a priority to increase transparency
and public involvement by instituting more formal public dialogue around
controversial issues, and through posting information online.

“While we haven’t agreed with every decision the DEQ had made, we’ve always
known that Amanda is motivated by a genuine desire to protect public health
and the environment and we’ve appreciated her intelligence, frankness and
willingness to consult with advocates.”said Matt Pacenza, director of HEAL
Utah.

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