Office of Environmental Advocate


The Environmental Advocate provides daily assistance to the public by handling requests or complaints. Requests for assistance can include questions about the public comment process, how to appeal agency decisions, how to file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, and the best methods for getting agency attention for a community problem.

Contact Us

West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection
Office of Environmental Advocate
601 57th Street SE
Charleston, WV 25304
Phone: (304) 926-0441

Meet Ed Maguire

Ed Maguire began serving West Virginians and the DEP as the Environmental Advocate on February 1, 2017.

Since 1990, Maguire has served as the president and owner of The Highlands Group, Inc., a land broker and consulting company that specializes in the conservation of undeveloped properties in West Virginia.

Maguire was the first state director for The Nature Conservancy in West Virginia.

Maguire served on the task force that helped secure more than 10,000 acres of land for the Summit Bechtel Reserve for the Boy Scouts of America. Maguire also recently assisted in the acquisition of more than 1,200 acres of land in the Gauley River Canyon on behalf of Young Life, an international non-denominational Christian ministry organization. Maguire also serves on the board for the West Virginia Outdoor Heritage and Conservation Fund as the Conservation Committee Chairman.

WVDEP Environmental Advocate Ed Maguire
WVDEP Environmental Advocate Ed Maguire

Citizen Resources

  • DEP Citizens Guide

    The DEP Citizen's Guide is a document intented to introduce citizens to the divisions within DEP as well as provide guidance and insight for requesting information, public participation into rulemaking processes, filing environmental complaints, and more.

  • Environmental Equity Policy

    The purpose of this policy is to address the disparate adverse environmental impacts and the lack of proportionate funding and environmental benefits, when they exist, that may impinge on the quality of life in low-income and minority communities.

  • Permit Hearings and Appeals Guide

    This guide is designed to provide an overview of public participation in the DEP permit application process and the steps to appeal a DEP decision.

Programs Overseen by the Office of Environmental Advocate

Rehabilitation Environmental Action Plan (REAP)

Since 2005, the Rehabilitation Environmental Action Plan strives to clean up West Virginia and rid the state of unsightly litter. The REAP initiative harbors all of the state cleanup programs within the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection. REAP is a powerful force in the campaign against illegal dumping and littering.

REAP focuses on cleanup efforts from both program staff and volunteers statewide. In a unique partnership, the program empowers citizens to take ownership of their communities by providing technical, financial, and resource assistance in cleanup efforts.

Learn More

Youth Environmental Program (YEP)

The West Virginia Youth Environmental Program was established in 1963 under the Division of Natural Resources as the West Virginia Youth Conservation Program. Its mission has not changed over the years: To provide a challenge and an opportunity to the youth of our state to participate in environmental projects within their communities.

The program is sponsored by the DEP. It is designed to unite existing youth groups such as 4-H clubs, scouts, kindergarten, elementary, junior high/middle and high schools, FFA chapters, church youth fellowships, and others toward the common goal of Making West Virginia Shine! The program provides incentive to the groups to actively participate in environmental projects such as litter cleanups, recycling drives and tree plantings. It creates an interest and enthusiasm for preserving our natural resources, with more than $15,000 in cash and other awards including a college scholarship.

Learn More