The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) is seeking qualified applicants to lead three of its divisions. The directors of the Water Protection Division (WPD), the Resource Protection Division (RPD) and the Environmental Health Division (EHD) are critical to advancing the Department’s mission of protecting public health and the environment.
Division directors take a leadership role in protecting New Mexico’s land, air and water by developing environmental policy as well as directing resources and operations. Maintaining a robust portfolio, the division directors oversee both daily activities and long-term plans for the agency.
The WPD regulates and supports the protection of water resources in New Mexico. Consisting of the Ground Water Quality Bureau, the Drinking Water Bureau, the Surface Water Quality Bureau and Construction Programs Bureau, the WPD oversees initiatives for public water systems and drinking water testing; water and wastewater utility operator certification; loans for drinking water, wastewater and solid waste infrastructure projects; clean-up of contaminated properties, including Superfund sites; discharge permits to protect groundwater; surface water quality monitoring and restoration; and compliance and enforcement of ground, surface and drinking water quality regulatory programs. This position also works closely with the New Mexico Produced Water Research Consortium and coordinates WPD activities to identify and address water contaminated with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and other emerging contaminants.
The RPD is responsible for ensuring precious natural resources and public health in New Mexico are protected. Overseeing the Hazardous Waste Bureau, the Solid Waste Bureau, the Petroleum Storage Tank Bureau and the Department of Energy Oversight Bureau, the RPD Division Director is responsible for the strategic implementation of Division initiatives. Specific projects include overseeing and coordinating hazardous waste management and clean-up activities at federal facilities across the state, including Los Alamos National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratory, Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, and U.S. Department of Defense facilities. This position also coordinates Division activities related to PFAS and oversees the implementation of Division programs to protect and restore New Mexico’s natural resources, particularly ground and surface water that may be used for drinking water, in conjunction with the WPD Division Director.
The Department is working to restore the EHD, which was eliminated in a prior administration. EHD works with existing programs to ensure that public health is protected through environmental health initiatives. The EHD Director is responsible for coordinating with Division staff on programs that directly impact the public health of New Mexicans, including permitting, technical assistance and compliance activities related to restaurants; industrial food manufacturing; adult use cannabis and hemp extraction, manufacturing, and processing facilities; public swimming pools and spas; and septic system management throughout the state.
Division directors must have demonstrated leadership experience in business acumen, leading people, managing change, driving results, and building coalitions. The ideal candidate must possess exceptional communication skills, both oral and written, including the ability to effectively communicate with a wide variety of stakeholders. Finally, the ideal candidates should have a passion for the protection of New Mexico’s natural environment and how it relates to human health.
These appointed positions serve at the pleasure of the Governor. To apply, visit the New Mexico Governor’s website here. Applications will be reviewed beginning at the end of the month. The Department expects to fill these positions in June 2021.