Walker cabinet member to oversee EPA’s Northwest office

Commissioner Hladick will take over at EPA Region 10 in December. (Photo courtesy Alaska Governor’s Office)

A member of Governor Bill Walker’s cabinet is taking a key position at the Environmental Protection Agency.

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The agency confirmed Tuesday that Chris Hladick will become the regional administrator overseeing EPA’s work in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

Hladick is currently commissioner for the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development. The Walker administration announced that Hladick will step down from that post on November 1. He will take the reins at EPA Region 10 in December.

Before joining Walker’s cabinet, Hladick spent over two decades working for communities in rural Alaska. He was city manager for Dillingham, Unalaska and Galena.

While Hladick was Unalaska’s city manager, he was involved in reaching a settlement with EPA related to Clean Water Act violations from its wastewater treatment facility.

At EPA, Hladick will oversee regulation of a wide range of activities in the Northwest — from superfund sites to the proposed Pebble Mine.

Walker announced that outgoing Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Mike Navarre will take Hladick’s place.