Mathy Stanislaus, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Land and Emergency Management
Mathy Stanislaus was nominated by President Barack Obama for the position of Assistant Administrator in EPA's Office of Land and Emergency Management (OLEM) on March 31, 2009, and began his service on June 8, 2009, after confirmation by the U.S. Senate.
As Assistant Administrator for OLEM, Mr. Stanislaus leads EPA’s programs that revitalize communities through the cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated sites under Superfund, Brownfields, and Resources Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) programs. OLEM also oversees other federal agencies cleanup of contaminated properties, and it 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 before Congress regarding aspects of these programs, including rules and budget.
He is leading the effort to advance the transition to a circular economy through a life-cycle based sustainable materials management approach. This effort involves his representing the U.S. at G7 deliberations and in the G7 Alliance for Resources Efficiency to promote best practices and foster innovation to address the challenges of resource efficiency. This alliance provides a forum for businesses and stakeholders from the public sector, research institutions, academia, and consumers to exchange information on resource efficiency.
He has focused on continuing the innovation of the Brownfields program to advance the revitalization of communities. Recognizing that successful, sustained community revitalization – particularly in communities facing economic distress/disruption – is achieved from inclusive revitalization planning among neighborhood groups, local governments and the private sector, he established the innovative Area Wide Brownfields grant program. This tool enables the development of a plan for community-wide improvements such as infrastructure investments that catalyze redevelopment on brownfield sites, equitably revitalize communities, and meet the community’s needs for affordable housing, jobs and open space. To align local planning efforts with sustainable economic development, he has advanced the innovative preference and priority concept of infrastructure and other economic resources for communities that have established inclusive area wide plans, such as in the DOT Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery or TIGER Discretionary Grant programs. He has furthered 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 by the Council of Development Finance Agencies for his efforts to align EPA’s Brownfields resources with local development finance, and he was awarded a 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 a tri-chair of the Obama Administration Chemical Facility Safety and Security Working Group, which 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.” Through the Community Engagement Initiative, he has focused on open government, expanding transparency, and empowering local communities. He leads the Agency's efforts to support community based actions to address environmental justice under Plan EJ 2014. He led the finalization of the Definition of Solid Waste rule to enhance protection of vulnerable communities from the mismanagement of recycling facilities and increasing the recycling of recovered materials. He also led the finalization of the first national rule to safely manage coal ash disposal.
He is leading OLEM’s actions to advance the President's Climate Action Plan including the implementation of OLEM’s adaptation plan (PDF) (41 pp, 452 K, About PDF). He serves on the interagency working group for the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Following the Deep Water Horizon BP Spill in 2010, he led EPA's response and served for weeks in Unified Area Command. He also served on Department of Interior’s Ocean Energy Safety Advisory Committee, which was charged to provide critical guidance on improving offshore drilling safety, well containment, and spill response, in support of the exploration of 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 also is former counsel for EPA's Region 2 Office.
Mr. Stanislaus was an advisor to other federal government agencies, 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 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 the 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.