Rusty Joins Appointed DEP Homeland Security Emergency Response Chief


CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Rusty Joins has been appointed Homeland Security Emergency Response chief for the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.

He has been deputy chief since 2008 and has been acting chief since Mike Dorsey retired in December.

Joins has been with the unit since September 1991 when it was within the Division of Natural Resources’ Office of Waste Management. He also previously worked for the West Virginia Division of Highways and with the Harford County Department of Public Works in Maryland.

The DEP’s Homeland Security Emergency Response unit responds to spills and other incidents that could potentially impact the environment, investigates pollution complaints and supports law enforcement officials throughout the state in managing waste disposal, including the cleanup of meth labs and the disposal of hazardous materials. The unit interfaces with local responders, with federal agencies and other state agencies to coordinate responses to a wide range of incident types. Two recent and well-publicized examples of those coordinated responses include last year’s Freedom MCHM spill in Charleston and this year’s CSX train derailment near Montgomery.

“Rusty is extremely dedicated to responding to emergency situations quickly and effectively,” said DEP Cabinet Secretary Randy Huffman. “He has a wealth of knowledge and experience and I am confident that he is the best person to fill this extremely important position.”

Joins’ new position became effective in mid-February.

For more DEP news and information, go to Also, be sure to connect with the agency on all social media platforms. Follow @DEPWV on Twitter and find us on YouTube by searching “Environment Matters.” For specific information about the Adopt-A-Highway, West Virginia Project WET (Water Education for Teachers), West Virginia NonPoint Source and Youth Environmental programs, connect on Facebook. 



Kelley Gillenwater
304-926-0440, ext. 1331