EPA replaces 'crucify' administrator

09 24, 2012 by POLITICO

Ron Curry, an academic and former New Mexico Cabinet secretary for the environment, has been appointed as the new administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 6, EPA chief Lisa Jackson told staff Friday in an email.

“I am confident that Ron will contribute significantly to the EPA’s mission to protect human health and the environment. His long record of leadership and success will make him a valuable asset to Region 6, to the EPA and to the American people. I look forward to having him on board,” Jackson said in the email.

“He brings to the EPA a keen understanding of environmental and health issues on the state and local levels and nearly 40 years of management experience in both government and the private sector,” the email said.

The private-sector experience could come in handy, as the last Region 6 administrator, Al Armendariz, found himself ousted after a dramatic implosion over his now infamous statement that he planned to “crucify” lawbreaking companies. Armendariz resigned after a video of the statements received national attention.

Curry comes from the University of New Mexico, where he worked in the Energy/Water/Environment Nexus Studies program, Jackson’s email said.

As New Mexico’s secretary for the Environment Department under then-Gov. Bill Richardson, Curry oversaw regulation of the Los Alamos and Sandia national laboratories.

Curry has “extensive experience” working closely with the EPA, the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense as well as industry, the email said. He also served as administrator for the Village of Los Ranchos and as a city manager in Santa Fe, N.M., and worked in public affairs and as vice president of a manufacturing firm.