Aug 9, 2011

NM Environmental Dept. Continues to be Re-shaped

Susana Martinez
Santa Fe New Mexican - Another administrative shake-up has occurred at the New Mexico Environment Department, which has seen turmoil since Gov. Susana Martinez took office this year. Raj Solomon has stepped down as deputy secretary and was replaced temporarily by Butch Tongate, head of the Environmental Protection Division. Solomon already had left the office Monday morning and was unavailable for comment, according to Environment Department staff. "Raj Solomon is no longer with the department," said spokesman Jim Winchester, who declined to discuss the details of Solomon's departure. Solomon's leaving Monday morning coincided with the return of Jim Davis as director of the department's Resource Protection Division. Davis had resigned from the position July 19, a day after a bureau overseeing hazardous-waste sites, such as those at Los Alamos National Laboratory, was moved to a different division. The decision to move the division, which some people familiar with the situation believed was a factor prompting Davis' resignation, was made by department Secretary F. David Martin and Solomon. Effective Monday, the Hazardous Waste Bureau was moved back to Davis' division. Winchester wouldn't say if any of these changes were related. The Resource Protection Division also includes bureaus overseeing groundwater quality, surface-water quality and petroleum storage tanks. "We're just thrilled [Davis] is back in that position," Winchester said, declining to discuss details. "It was a process, but we're happy to have him back." Read full story here: News New Mexico

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