The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund loan program has a new program manager.
Kathy Emery, who’s managed the engineering section of the CWSRF the past five years, was named by Division of Water and Waste Management Director Scott Mandirola to succeed Mike Johnson, who’s retiring in April. An assistant director in the DWWM, Johnson has been the CWSRF’s program manager since its inception 20 years ago. He has 37 years of state government experience.
The CWSRF uses state and federal funding to issue low-interest loans for water quality improvement projects in municipalities, public service districts and other entities. In the past 20 years, over $750 million worth of loans have been issued for 263 projects across the state. Many of the projects extended sewer service to West Virginia residents for the first time.
During fiscal year 2009, West Virginia was one of 10 states recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its highly effective management of the CWSRF. Also, this past June, the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure praised West Virginia’s CWSRF for quickly putting to use $61 million in federal stimulus dollars targeted for wastewater infrastructure projects.
“Mike has run an outstanding program for 20 years and has provided a service to the public by getting sewer systems into places that otherwise would have never gotten them,” DEP Cabinet Secretary Randy Huffman said. “Mike’s been honest. He’s been accountable and the program is a tremendous feather in his cap. The DEP, as a result of Mike’s efforts, has a tremendous reputation of being very good at managing our Revolving Fund. And I believe under Kathy, that same kind of management style and integrity will continue.”
A Raleigh County native, Emery has been involved with the state’s CWSRF for 16 years. She has an engineering degree from West Virginia University.
Johnson said Emery is the perfect choice to take over the program. “Kathy has worked her way up. She was selected to head up the engineering section and this is the next logical step for her. Hopefully, she’ll be here the next 20 years.”
Emery said she feels fortunate to step into a program that has been operating efficiently for so long, although she admits it will be a challenge filling Johnson’s shoes. “I’m glad he’ll be staying on until this spring to help me,” she said.