The Herbert Administration announced this morning that Amanda Smith, six-year veteran at the helm of Utah’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will be leaving the post.
Appointed by Jon Huntsman, Jr., Smith has indicated that she will take an undisclosed position in the private sector.
“It’s a difficult decision because I have enjoyed working with such a high caliber staff at DEQ,” Smith said. “But I leave at a time when many great things set the stage for a smooth transition.”
Governor Gary Herbert praised Smith for her ability to solve environmental issues through collaboration and improve the agency’s efficiency by removing bureaucratic roadblocks, which in the end result in better environmental protection.
Reaction in the advocacy community was immediate as many are on edge about a recent application by Energy Solutions to accept depleted uranium waste at their hazardous dump site in Clive, 80 miles west of Salt Lake City.
“While we haven’t agreed with every decision the DEQ had made, we’ve always known that Amanda is motivated by a genuine desire to protect public health and the environment and we’ve appreciated her intelligence, frankness and willingness to consult with advocates.”said Matt Pacenza, executive director of HEAL Utah.
It is unclear who may be on Governor Herbert’s short list for a replacement appointment. Information from administration spokesmen was limited.