from the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy

For more information,contact
Brian McManus (402) 471-4223, or
Amanda Woita (402) 471-4243
For Immediate Release
January 29, 2009

DEQ Director Heads National Association of Environmental Directors

Mike Linder, Director of the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, has assumed a leadership role in a national association of state environmental directors. He assumed the position of President of the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) effective January 27, 2009.

ECOS is a national non-profit, non-partisan association of state and territorial environmental agency leaders. Linder had served as vice president of the organization, and assumed the role of president when Steve Owens, Director of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, resigned from the ECOS position. Linder will serve as ECOS president until the group’s next election of officers in September 2009.

He said that ECOS provides the states with a method of communicating more effectively with EPA and Washington regarding the states’ perspectives on important environmental issues. This is a particularly critical time for states to interact with the federal government, Linder said, since there are many new people in the administration of EPA, and environmental policy discussions are now at the forefront.

ECOS was formed in 1993 with a mission of improving the capability of state environmental agencies and their leaders to protect and improve human health and the environment. ECOS provides a format for state leaders to exchange ideas, foster coordination, and articulate the states’ views on environmental issues to Congress, federal agencies and the public.

Linder was appointed Director of NDEQ by then-Governor Mike Johanns in 1999, and his appointment was renewed by Governor Dave Heineman in January 2007.