Caitlin Inglehart, (617) 85-01755
MARCH 18, 2009 (BOSTON, MA) In pivotal news for both CLF and national environmental policy, the Obama administration today announced the nomination of CLF Rhode Island Advocacy Center Director, Cynthia Giles, for a key position with the Environmental Protection Agency as the head of the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA).
“Cynthia’s nomination to this key EPA position is great news for the environment, the public health and the rule of law,” said CLF Interim President Bill Coleman/ “Her leadership and skills will be greatly missed at CLF, but the same focus, tenacity, integrity that has been the hallmarks of her career will serve her well as the head of federal environmental enforcement.” Coleman added, “Her unique mix of hard-edged litigation skill, strategic vision and compassion enabled her to serve effectively as a guardian of Rhode Island and New England’s communities and environment – and make her the perfect candidate to play that role on the national stage. “
The OECA is responsible for enforcing the nation’s environmental laws. Giles has been nominated for the position of Assistant Administrator of EPA overseeing that critical enforcement office.
In addition to her four-year tenure at CLF, Giles has an extensive background of 30 years in environmental policy and enforcement. From 2001 to 2005, Cynthia served as head of the Bureau of Resource Protection at the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Cynthia worked for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 3 in a variety of capacities from 1991 to 1997. Her responsibilities included overseeing enforcement of federal laws regulating toxics and protecting air, drinking water and surface water. She also chaired a regional ozone compliance initiative, developing strategies for reducing smog-causing emissions from stationary sources. Prior to joining EPA, Cynthia was an Assistant United States Attorney, prosecuting violations of federal environmental laws. She holds a BA from Cornell University , as well as a JD from the University of California at Berkeley and an MPA from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government.
Giles has been involved in critical advocacy while at CLF, with a focus on state and regional efforts to combat climate change. She was a key player in getting Rhode Island to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cap and trade program to reduce global warming pollution from power plants, and to adopt California’s standards for reducing green house gas emissions from cars and trucks. She also pressed for needed reforms of the Coastal Resources Management Council, which is responsible for protecting Rhode Island’s coastline and adjacent waters, and worked with a coalition of groups to protect Rhode Island ’s rivers and streams by improving water management in Rhode Island.
The Conservation Law Foundation (www.clf.org) works to solve the most significant environmental challenges facing New England. CLF’s advocates use law, economics and science to create innovate strategies to conserve natural resources, protect public health and promote vital communities in our region. Founded, in 1966, CLF is a nonprofit, member-supported organization with offices in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.