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Mathy Stanislaus, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response
Mathy Stanislaus was nominated by President Barack Obama for the position of Assistant Administrator in EPA's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER) on March 31, 2009 and began in his service on June 8, 2009 after confirmation by the U.S. Senate.
As Assistant Administrator for OSWER, Mr. Stanislaus leads EPA’s programs that revitalizes communities through the cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated sites under Superfund, Brownfields and Resources Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) programs, oversees other federal agencies cleanup of contaminated properties, and advances hazardous and solid waste materials management under RCRA, chemical plant safety, oil spill prevention, underground storage tank program, and emergency response. He regularly testifies in Congress regarding aspects of these programs, including rules and budget.
As Assistant Administrator, Mr. Stanislaus has focused on continuing the innovation of the brownfield program to advance the revitalization communities. Recognizing that successful, sustained community revitalization – particularly in communities facing economic distress/disruption – occurs by fostering inclusive revitalization planning among neighborhood stakeholders, local governments and the private sector, he established the innovative Area Wide Brownfields grant program. This tools enables the development of a plan for community-wide improvements such as infrastructure investments to catalyze redevelopment opportunities on brownfield sites to equitably revitalize communities and meet needs for affordable housing, jobs and open space. To align local planning efforts sustainable economic development, he has advanced the prioritization of infrastructure and other economic resources for communities that have established an inclusive area wide plans, such as in the DOT Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER Discretionary Grant programs. He has advanced the continued alignment of EPA resources with private financing by clarifying brownfield revolving loan fund requirements to accommodate financing structures used in the affordable housing industry. He was recognized Council of Development Finance Agencies for his efforts to align EPA’s brownfield resources with local development finance in their 2014 Excellence in Development Finance Award.
He leads EPA's efforts to advance the Obama Administration's Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership, a key aspect of the effort to expand middle class job opportunities. He served on the White House Council on Auto Communities and Workers which led the effort to assist local leaders to transition closed auto plants to productive reuses. He is tri-chair of the Obama Administration Chemical Facility Safety and Security Working Group that is leading efforts to assist state and local emergency preparedness organizations, policy changes to improve the safety of chemical plants and other actions set forth in “Executive Order 13650 Actions to Improve Chemical Facility Safety and Security – A Shared Commitment. Report to the President May 2014.” He has focused on open government, expanding transparency, and empowering local communities through the Community Engagement Initiative. He leads the Agency's efforts to support community based actions to address environmental justice under Plan EJ 2014. He is leading the effort to transition to a life-cycle based sustainable materials management approach to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide materials for manufacturing. He led the finalization of the Definition of Solid Waste rule to advance providing protections for vulnerable communities from the mismanagement of recycling facilities while fostering the increased manufacturing opportunities of recycling of recovered materials. He led the finalization of the first national rule to safely manage coal ash disposal.
He is leading OSWER’s actions to advance the President's Climate Action Plan including the implementation of OSWER’s adaptation plan. He serves on the interagency working group for the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and leads the work group to advance beauty salon safety. He led EPA's response efforts during the Deep Water Horizon BP Spill in 2010 – serving weeks in Unified Area Command. He served on Department of Interior’s Ocean Energy Safety Advisory Committee that was charged to provide critical guidance on improving offshore drilling safety, well containment, and spill response as we explore new energy frontiers.
Mr. Stanislaus is a chemical engineer and environmental lawyer with over 20 years of experience in the environmental field in the private and public sectors. He served as senior environmental counsel at a law firm, and director of environmental compliance for an environmental consulting firm. He started and operated a small business providing consulting services to local governments and local communities on projects ranging from the cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated properties, the proposed siting and expansion of power plants, solid waste facilities and large highways. He has worked in the not-for-profit sector, co-founding and co-directing New Partners for Community Revitalization, a NY not-for-profit organization whose mission is to advance the renewal of New York's low and moderate income neighborhoods and communities of color through the redevelopment of Brownfields sites. He is also former counsel for EPA's Region 2 Office.
Mr. Stanislaus has also been an advisor to other federal government agencies, including Congress and the United Nations on a variety of environmental issues. He chaired an EPA workgroup in 1997 that investigated the clustering of waste transfer stations in low income and communities of color throughout the United States. He has served on the board of the NYC Environmental Justice Alliance. In June 1994, as a member of United Nations Environment Programme - Environmental Advisory Council, he served as counsel to the United Nations' summit that examined environmental issues affecting New York's indigenous communities of the Haudaunosaunee Confederacy, as part of United Nations' International Year of the Indigenous Communities.
He received his law degree from Chicago Kent Law School and Chemical Engineering Degree from City College of New York. He was born in Sri Lanka and his family immigrated to this country to seek freedom and opportunity.