Pattie Aho Named Acting Commissioner of Maine Department of Environmental Protection

June 17, 2011

CONTACT:
Samantha DePoy-Warren, Maine DEP Spokesperson/Director of Education and Outreach samantha.depoy-warren@maine.gov / 287-5842 (office) or 592-0427 (cell)

AUGUSTA – Pattie Aho has been named acting commissioner of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.

Aho, who has served as deputy commissioner of the agency since February, replaces previous Acting Commissioner and longtime Maine DEP Air Bureau Director, Jim Brooks, who has taken a position as Environmental Manager of the Verso Paper Corp’s Bucksport Mill.

A native of Boothbay Harbor who graduated from Nasson College and earned a law degree from Western New England College, Aho has been in the forefront of environmental advocacy for over 25 years and has been active on many of the critical issues facing Maine, including energy efficiency, greenhouse gas and petroleum regulation.

Admitted to the Maine Bar, she most recently served as an attorney at Pierce Atwood and in addition to her leadership role as acting commissioner, is Maine DEP’s primary liaison with both the Maine Legislature and the Governor’s Office, as well as representing the agency on several state and regional committees, including the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

As acting commissioner, Aho will continue to advance the department’s initiatives begun by Governor Paul LePage and former Commissioner Darryl Brown to improve permit processing time and provide more regulatory certainty and consistency while ensuring sustainable economic development in Maine through a balanced stewardship of the state’s natural resources.

She will also lead the agency’s new rulemaking process, created by the ratification of LD 1 earlier this month and scheduled to start this summer, to implement obligations put in law this session and repeal a number of rules already identified by the department as obsolete or duplicative.

Aho lives in Newcastle with her husband, Ron, and has a lengthy commitment to community service, having served on town boards and committees in both Boothbay Harbor and Newcastle and on the boards of the Lincoln County Community Theater and Orchestra and the Maine Tourism Association.

She has also been honored with the prestigious Athena Award from the Kennebec County Chamber of Commerce for her advocacy on behalf of the business community.

For more information about the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, visit http://www.maine.gov/dep or call 207-287-7688.

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