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Poloncarz appoints Thomas Hersey as commissioner of environment and planning

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Thu, May 5th 2016 03:05 pm

Deputy DEP commissioner replaces Thomas Dearing

Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz has announced his appointment of Thomas Hersey as commissioner of the Erie County Department of Environment and Planning. Hersey has served as deputy commissioner for environmental compliance in the department since April 2012, and has been closely involved with pollution prevention, environmental compliance and environmental quality issues and programs in the department for over 30 years.

"Mr. Hersey is very familiar with the functions, services and programs of ECDEP. He has been at the forefront of environmental protection advancements in our region and his knowledge, experience and ability to create partnerships will be of great value in his role as commissioner," Poloncarz said. "I look forward to working with Tom to build an Erie County that is more sustainable and that protects and enhances our natural resources."

As deputy commissioner for environmental compliance, Hersey coordinated the creation of the Lake Erie Watershed Protection Alliance, a three-county watershed protection collaboration that developed a watershed action plan for the New York portion of the Lake Erie shoreline, and fosters the implementation of water quality improvement projects in local shoreline communities. Among many other achievements, he also secured over $2 million in federal and state grant funding to rebuild the county's division of energy compliance; assisted the Erie County Department of Public Works in establishing an energy officer; and assisted in the development of a countywide energy management plan to reduce county energy consumption through conservation measures and reduce the cost of energy through power purchasing agreements for solar power. Hersey has also assisted over 400 local small businesses in implementing pollution prevention strategies. He is a co-author of the Erie County water quality strategy.

Hersey's appointment to commissioner, which began on Monday, will go to the Erie County Legislature for approval. He replaces the retired Dearing as ECDEP commissioner.

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