Idaho chooses new water quality administrator

A 14-year veteran of the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Barry Burnell was named administrator of the agency's water quality division, according to a press release from DEQ.

BOISE, ID, Aug. 3, 2004 -- A water quality expert and 14-year veteran of the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has been named administrator of the agency's Water Quality Division.

Barry Burnell, a fisheries science graduate of the University of Minnesota, was appointed to the position by DEQ Director Toni Hardesty, who served as the division's administrator prior to being named director by Gov. Kempthorne in July.

Burnell has held several senior water quality management positions at DEQ including groundwater program manager, watershed protection supervisor and senior water quality analyst. In addition, he was a discipline lead in the agency's Technical Services Division.

Burnell also has played a key role in revising the state's solid waste rules, developing DEQ's odor determination process, and overseeing the wood and mill yard debris and subsurface sewage disposal technical guidance committees.

Before joining state government, he served as a biological/physical science researcher for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the National Fisheries Research Lab in LaCrosse, WI, and as assistant utilities chemist for the city of Eau Claire, WI.

He's a registered environmental health specialist and also has worked for the Southeast District Health Department in Blackfoot. He served as president of the Idaho Environmental Health Association and was appointed by Governors Batt and Kempthorne to the State Board of Environmental Health Specialist Examiners at the Bureau of Occupational Licenses.

As head of DEQ's Water Quality Division, Burnell will oversee the agency's efforts to protect Idaho's surface, ground, and drinking water resources. Division activities include permitting, monitoring and assessment, issuing drinking water and wastewater grants and loans, and providing technical assistance.

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