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July 15, 2009 Jay Finegan, 287-1445
Rep. Bernard Ayotte Named to National Environmental Leadership Group

AUGUSTA – Maine House Speaker Hannah Pingree has named Rep. Bernard Ayotte to an influential committee on environmental affairs at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). The appointment, which takes effect immediately, will bring Rep. Ayotte into contact with state legislators from around the nation to share approaches and solutions to common environmental issues.

“I’m honored by this appointment and by the opportunity to represent Maine at the national level,” said Rep. Ayotte (R-Caswell), a second-term legislator. “The NCSL is an outstanding organization, and its Environment Committee serves as a forum for legislators to share information about options being considered in other states. The best ideas don’t always come from the federal government. I think the most innovative solutions often come from the states.”

Rep. Ayotte serves on the Natural Resources Committee in the Maine Legislature, where he deals with a range of environmental matters. Those issues include air and water quality, natural resource protection, shoreland zoning and disposal of solid, hazardous and biomedical wastes. The committee also has jurisdiction over hydropower and dams, energy facilities, mining and general environmental policy.

The NCSL’s Environment Committee educates Congress and federal agencies as to state concerns regarding a variety of issues, such as air quality, water management and cost-benefit analysis of environmental regulations. Its jurisdiction extends to a diverse group of environmental issues, including natural disasters, waste disposal, pesticides, alternative energy and nuclear waste.

The NCSL, based in Denver, is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the nation's 50 states, its commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues; and it advocates for the interests of state governments before Congress and federal agencies.