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The White House Announces Appointment of Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection Director Adam Ortiz as EPA Administrator for Mid-Atlantic States

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Today, the White House announced that Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Director Adam Ortiz has been appointed as Regional Administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the Mid-Atlantic Region. Ortiz will be the first Marylander to serve as EPA Regional Administrator. He has been Montgomery County DEP director since January 2019. 

“Our County’s success is a testament to the talented people we recruit and promote,” said Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich. “Adam Ortiz has been a standout leader in my administration. He has been at the forefront of our aggressive efforts to combat climate change and has implemented key reforms within DEP to better serve our residents and protect our environment. Combining these accomplishments with an already impressive career, I am not surprised President Biden has selected Adam for a national leadership role. His appointment is yet another example of the caliber of people we have here working in the County government. Although we will miss his leadership and innovation inside County government, I am happy that Adam will still be working daily to protect the local environment as our region’s EPA administrator.”

“Adam is a dynamic, innovative, and collaborative leader,” said Climate Change Officer Adriana Hochberg. “I deeply appreciate his contributions to the County’s climate change initiatives, and I extend my best wishes to Adam as he transitions to his new role at EPA.”

“There is no municipal leader more committed to our environment than Marc Elrich,” said Ortiz. “It has been an honor to work with him, my cabinet colleagues, the talented DEP staff, the County Council, and all the stakeholder groups in Montgomery County. The innovation, engagement, and commitment of this county to the environment is an inspiration and model for other jurisdictions nationwide.”  

As Director of the Montgomery County DEP, Ortiz initiated commercial and residential composting pilots, spearheaded legislation to ban plastic straws and to improve building energy performance, enhanced safety at the Shady Grove Processing Facility and Transfer Station, expanded the Tree Montgomery RainScapes, Pet Waste and Restoration and Outreach Grant programs, enhanced community engagement and communications on environmental issues, and developed equity assessment maps to ensure equity is factored into watershed restoration.

Director Ortiz’s last day of service in Montgomery County will be Friday, Oct. 29. Hochberg will serve as acting director of DEP until a new director is appointed by County Executive Marc Elrich and confirmed by the Montgomery County Council.

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Release ID: 21-822
Media Contact: Cindy Pena 202-875-1563