PHOENIX, AZ, June 22, 2009 -- Benjamin H. Grumbles, who was the longest-serving administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's national water program, takes over today as director of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.
Grumbles was selected in March as Gov. Jan Brewer's Policy Advisor for the Environment and is starting his new job at ADEQ after relocating his family from his previous home in Virginia.
"Ben's gotten off to a great start in his first few months of service to the State, focusing on innovative and sustainable approaches to water conservation and environmental protection and promoting clean and renewable energy such as solar power," Brewer said. "I am thrilled that Mr. Grumbles will now be able to take on his new role as head of ADEQ because he is one of the nation's most thoughtful and collaborative environmental regulators."
Grumbles says coming to Arizona has evolved into a homecoming of sorts.
"Over the last 30 years, all of my family has moved to Arizona, establishing roots in Tucson, Phoenix, Scottsdale and Prescott and I'm very happy that my wife and I and our two children will now be able to join them," Grumbles said. "I'm also honored to be a member of Governor Brewer's team and am committed to accelerating environmental progress and fostering a culture of collaboration to sustain our State's economic competitiveness."
Grumbles was assistant administrator for water at EPA in Washington, D.C. from January 2004 until January 2009. He carried out the federal Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act and managed 2,100 full-time employees and a $3.6 billion budget. Grumbles also managed EPA's American Indian Environmental Office with air, water, waste and watershed responsibilities throughout the agency's 10 regions.
Before his service with EPA, Grumbles worked 17 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, including as senior counsel for the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. He also was Environmental Counsel and Deputy Chief of Staff for the Science Committee. Grumbles participated extensively in reauthorizations and investigations of the nation's environmental, water resource and energy laws.
In addition, Grumbles taught for 10 years (1994-2004) at the environmental law program of George Washington University Law School.
Grumbles is a member of the board of directors of River of Words, a nonprofit nationally acclaimed organization devoted to children's poetry, art and environmental education. He also serves on the board of directors of Clean Water America Alliance, a nonprofit educational organization uniting governments, organizations and citizens in support of protecting and sustaining watersheds.
Grumbles received a B.A. in English from Wake Forest University, a J.D. degree from Emory University Law School and a Master of Laws degree in environmental law from George Washington University Law School.
Brewer thanked Patrick J. Cunningham for his five months of service as acting director of ADEQ. Cunningham will return to his previous job as ADEQ's deputy director.
"Pat faced some enormous challenges because of the budget crisis in state government but handled them all in a very competent and professional manner," Brewer said. "I am pleased that he will continue to be a leader at ADEQ."