Governor LePage Announces Retirement of Commissioner Mercer

October 30, 2018

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, October 30, 2018
Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA--Governor Paul R. LePage announced today that Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Paul Mercer will retire from state service on November 9, 2018.

"Paul's leadership at DEP has had a positive effect on the agency and the state," said Governor Paul R. LePage. "Paul has worked collaboratively with businesses and advocates, as well as state and federal agencies to protect Maine's natural resources while growing our economy. His innovative and balanced approach has helped to move our state forward while ensuring our environment is protected. I thank him for his service to the people of Maine."

"As a life-long Mainer, it has been a privilege to serve the people of this state," said Commissioner Mercer. "I am grateful to Governor LePage for giving me the opportunity to serve as commissioner and work alongside the dedicated and knowledgeable staff at DEP."

A graduate of Maine Maritime Academy, Mercer began his working career traveling the globe as a marine engineer aboard U.S. merchant vessels. He combined his experience as principal of engineering firms in Maine with expertise in renewables, solid fuels and biomass energy systems to benefit businesses throughout North America. A member of the senior management team at Maine Maritime Academy, he held positions as associate professor and department chair within the Engineering Department and served as the assistant to the president for sustainability. Mercer also served as director of facilities, vice president of advancement and vice president of operations.

Commissioner Mercer has served as head of DEP since January of 2016. During his tenure, he has instituted a multimedia cross-training program for DEP employees to challenge staff, foster dialog and encourage multiskilled training and workforce flexibility within the agency. This past summer, the department released a new environmental education curricula created for educators and middle and high school students statewide to promote environmental stewardship as well as future careers in environmental studies. Commissioner Mercer has been a strong advocate for investments in wastewater treatment infrastructure and training to protect Maine's water quality.

Upon Commissioner Mercer's retirement, Governor LePage will appoint Melanie Loyzim, deputy commissioner of DEP, as acting commissioner.