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EPA Region III Appoints Rebecca Hanmer as New Director of Chesapeake Bay Program

Release Date: 3/28/2002
Contact Information: Donna Heron 215-814-5113

Contact: Donna Heron (215) 814-5113

PHILADELPHIA – Donald S. Welsh, regional administrator of EPA’s mid-Atlantic Region, announced today that Rebecca Hanmer has been selected as the new director of EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program.

“Rebecca brings an unparalleled record of experience to the important job of protecting the nation’s largest estuary,” said Welsh. “She has been an important leader in the development of many federal water protection programs, and I am confident that she will expand our partnership efforts that will lead to real and measurable environmental benefits in the bay and its entire watershed.”

Hanmer is currently director of Region III’s Water Protection Division, a post she has held since December, 2000. A career federal executive, Hanmer began her government service in 1964 as a program analyst in the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare.

Hanmer is a charter member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, joining when the agency was created in 1970. Since 1975 she has held a number of executive positions in EPA in both Washington and in several EPA regions. Her posts have included acting assistant administrator for water, deputy assistant administrator for water, regional administrator for Region IV in Atlanta, acting regional administrator for EPA’s Region VIII in Denver, director of the Office of Water Enforcement and Permits and Federal Activities in EPA headquarters and deputy regional administrator for Region I in Boston.

From 1990 to 1997 Hanmer worked for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris, where she managed OECD’s technology and environment program and headed the Pollution Prevention and Control Division.

Just prior to her current post, she was EPA’s program manager for the mountaintop mining/valley fill environmental impact statement, and from 1997 to 1998 she was Region III’s liaison with the District of Columbia.

A native of Keysville, Va., Hanmer is a recipient of the President’s Distinguished Federal Executive Award and has twice received the President’s Meritorious Federal Executive Award. She attended the College of William and Mary, New York University and the American University in Washington, D.C. and holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in political science.

The Chesapeake Bay Program, created in 1983, is a cooperative restoration effort among Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, the District of Columbia, the Chesapeake Bay Commission and the federal government. The intergovernmental partnership is recognized worldwide for its comprehensive approach to complex environmental problems. The partnership has over 400 regular participants, and establishes and implements bay restoration and protection goals. Throughout the past two decades, the bay program has coordinated efforts through a series of partnership agreements. This cooperative partnership has accomplished a great deal since its inception and the bay is beginning to respond.

Under the leadership of the six-member Chesapeake Executive Council, comprised of the EPA administrator, the governors of Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia, the mayor of District of Columbia and the chair of the Chesapeake Bay Commission, Hanmer will be responsible for implementing the executive council’s goals and objectives for restoration of the Chesapeake Bay.

The council has adopted three major agreements over the years – 1983, 1987, and the Chesapeake 2000 agreement which sets out a detailed agenda for the bay program which includes quantifiable goals and target dates for reaching them.

The bay’s watershed covers 64,000 square miles of land across New York, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. The Bay’s main stem stretches about 200 miles from its confluence with the Susquehanna River in Havre de Grace, Md. to its mouth near Norfolk, Va. -- a 11,684-mile shoreline . Home to over 3,600 species of plants and animals, as well as 15.7 million people, the bay watershed is an incredibly complex ecosystem in need of protection and restoration.