Harris County Attorney Christian D. Menefee Appointed to EPA Local Government Advisory Committee

Style Magazine Newswire | 1/17/2023, 8:44 a.m.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the appointment of 15 new and 7 returning members to the Local Government Advisory …
Harris County Attorney Christian D. Menefee

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the appointment of 15 new and 7 returning members to the Local Government Advisory Committee (LGAC). The announcement came at a public meeting of the Committee, where members presented recommendations on implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

“Our partnerships with local governments are critical to EPA’s efforts to tackle the climate crisis and ensure that investments from President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act reach the communities that need them most,” said EPA Administrator Michael Regan. “The recommendations provided by the LGAC today demonstrate the pride we take in prioritizing local voices, and I look forward to working with the new membership over the coming year.”

The 34-member LGAC will have an even split of female and male members, including 14 people of color, and representation from 29 different states and U.S. territories. The Administrator also appointed 13 new and 5 returning members to the LGAC’s Small Communities Advisory Subcommittee.

Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird of Lincoln, Nebraska will continue to as the LGAC’s chair, and Mayor Lucy Vinis of Eugene, Oregon will serve as the LGAC’s vice chair. Administrator Regan also appointed Ann Mallek, Supervisor of Albemarle County, Virginia, as co-chair of the SCAS. Mallek will join Commissioner Christine Lowery of Cibola County, New Mexico, who has held the position for the past year.

“I look forward to continued service on the EPA’s Local Government Advisory Committee and remain committed to the important work of advancing climate security, infrastructure development, economic opportunity, environmental justice, and quality of life for people here in Lincoln and across our country,” said Mayor Gaylor Baird of Lincoln, Nebraska.

Recommendations focused on the Climate Pollution Reduction Grants and included providing funding directly to local and tribal governments, prioritizing the decarbonization of buildings, supporting meaningful engagement with disadvantaged communities in climate planning, and coordinating IRA implementation across the federal family. Regarding the IRA Heavy-Duty Vehicles program the LGAC recommended that EPA support the decarbonization of government fleets and streamline applications. The recommendations will be finalized and sent to Administrator Regan later this month.

Members were chosen from a pool of more than 80 highly qualified candidates. Selections for the one- and two-year terms were made in accordance with the LGAC charter to achieve balance and diversity in terms of geographic location, gender, ethnicity, and stakeholder perspective.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael S. Regan has appointed Harris County Attorney Christian D. Menefee to the EPA’s Local Government Advisory Committee (LGAC). County Attorney Menefee will serve alongside 33 other local leaders from across the country—including San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg—to provide advice and recommendations to Administrator Regan on critical environmental issues.

Statement From Harris County Attorney Christian D. Menefee

“I’m honored to join this group of local leaders and to tackle the environmental issues that most impact Harris County residents,” said County Attorney Menefee. “Harris County is uniquely positioned to contribute to the national conversation on environmental policy. We have neighborhoods with higher instances of cancer, asthma, heart diseases, and many other ailments. We’ve navigated plant explosions, water contamination issues, and just about every other major emissions event you can think of. My focus on this committee will be advocating for federal dollars to go directly to local governments, prioritizing environmental justice communities, and ensuring that everyone across Harris County has clean air and water. I look forward to working with the EPA and leaders from across the country.”

The Harris County Attorney’s Office has focused heavily on environmental issues, including suing Texas’s environmental regulatory agency over concrete batch plant permitting, joining with the City of Houston to take legal action regarding cancer clusters in historically black neighborhoods, and seeking penalties from chemical companies in wake of plant explosions and other emissions events.

Chartered in 1993 under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the Local Government Advisory Committee provides independent policy advice to the EPA Administrator on a broad range of environmental and related issues affecting local governments.