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DEP Environmental Advocate Appointed

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CHARLESTON (News release) - The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection will have a new, but familiar, environmental advocate to give citizens a voice within the agency. Wendy Radcliff was appointed by DEP Cabinet Secretary Randy Huffman and will assume her new role June 16.

Radcliff was the first of only two individuals to ever hold this position, which was created in 1994. She left the agency in 1998 to obtain her law degree from West Virginia University and has been working for the last 10 years as an assistant state Attorney General – advising the Environmental Quality Board, the Air Quality Board and the Surface Mine Board.

“Wendy did an exemplary job as the DEP’s first-ever environmental advocate and I couldn’t be more pleased that she has agreed to come back to the role to once again provide assistance to the public,” said Huffman. “This is a very important position within the agency and I can’t think of a more ideal candidate. Not only does Wendy have the experience and knowledge to perform the job functions, but her strong communications skills should be a major asset as well.”

The Environmental Advocate serves as a liaison between the DEP and individuals and groups concerned about the environment. In this role, Radcliff will answer questions, address complaints and help solve problems. She will provide assistance on a variety of issues ranging from bringing the DEP’s attention to community concerns to explaining how to file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

The position has been vacant since Jan. 31 when Pam Nixon, who had been in the role since shortly after Radcliff left, retired.

“I am excited about the opportunity to again serve the citizens of West Virginia as the DEP’s environmental advocate and am eager to get started addressing their concerns,” said Radcliff. “I’m also looking forward to renewing working relationships with former co-workers and getting to know new DEP employees as well.”

Radcliff, a native West Virginian, grew up in Winfield and now resides in Charleston with her husband and their two children.

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