The Department of Environmental Protection has expanded its Office of the Environmental Advocate with the addition of two staff members.
“I wanted to expand the office because the citizens of West Virginia have an increased interest and awareness of environmental issues and we want to be responsive to their need for information and involvement,” said DEP Cabinet Secretary Randy C. Huffman.
Dennis Stottlemyer and John King joined the staff Sept. 1, and will assist Pam Nixon, who has been the sole environmental advocate since she joined the agency in November 1998. The Office of the Environmental Advocate has been in existence since the establishment of the DEP in 1992. This is the first time in the office’s 18 years of operation that is has been expanded.
Stottlemyer will be located in the Charleston office and King will work out of the Fairmont office. Huffman said their role will be to interact with individual citizens in the state, as well as work with community organizations and citizen’s groups
“Their main focus will be to close the gap between the agency and the citizens of the state,” Huffman said.
Stottlemyer is a 1995 graduate of West Virginia University, with a bachelor’s of science degree in environmental protection. Prior to being selected for this position, he was mitigation coordinator for the DEP’s Division of Mining and Reclamation. He also served as an executive assistant to the cabinet secretary for the DEP and was an environmental consultant prior to joining the agency. He is a member of the Davis Creek and Coal River watershed associations.
King earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice in 2002, and a master’s degree in physical science in 2007 from Marshall University. His experience includes being an inspector with the DEP’s Division of Water and Waste Management, and a regional coordinator for the Youth Environmental Program. He is also a member of the DEP’s dive team, and a founding member of the Morris Creek Watershed Association.
“This addition will allow DEP to reach more of its citizens,” Nixon said. “When it was just me, no matter how hard I tried, I was never able to address everyone’s concerns and issues. Now, DEP will be better able to meet with and communicate with more of West Virginia’s citizens.”
To reach the Office of the Environmental Advocate, call 800-654-5227 or 304-926-0441. To reach Nixon email: Pamela.Nixon@wv.gov. Stottlemyer can be reached at: Dennis.O.Stottlemyer@wv.gov; and King at: John.M.S.King@wv.gov.