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New ADEQ head blasted by environmental groups

By Howard Fischer

Phoenix, AZ – Governor Jan Brewer's choice to head the state Department of
Environmental Quality is getting panned by some in the
environmental community.

The governor named Benjamin Grumbles to head the agency that is
responsible for monitoring and regulating air and water quality
in the state. Brewer cited his experience, most recently as
assistant administrator of the Office of Water at the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency. But Bill Snape, senior counsel
to the Center for Biological Diversity, had a different take on
that record.

"He was a Bush political hack who carried out a number of anti-
environmental initiatives when he was at Bush's EPA, or the Bush-
Johnson EPA. So, no. He definitely is bad news."

Snape said Grumbles had a particular stance against enforcing
water quality laws in ephemeral streams that do not run year
round. He said that should be of great concern in the desert. But
Paul Senseman, the governor's press aide, said she examined her
nominee's record and is pleased with what she found.

"Mr. Grumbles is an internationally reknowned expert in the field
of water quality and water conservation. These are issues of
great import to the governor. She's very excited for him to join
her cabinet."

Grumbles is set to take his post in June but eventually will
require Senate confirmation.