Pennsylvania Environmental Council Names Paul M. King President

Contact: Bob Oltmanns
Date: Nov. 5, 2010
Phone: (412) 721-0236
Email: [email protected]

Harrisburg – The Pennsylvania Environmental Council, a leading statewide environmental organization, today named Paul M. King, QEP, to the position of president and chief executive officer, succeeding Donald S. Welsh, who has resigned to pursue other interests.

The transition is effective Nov. 29.

King returns to PEC after having served as chairman of the board of the organization for 12 years.  He also served as interim president and CEO of PEC from April 2008 to April 2009.  Mr. King is both a lawyer and qualified environmental professional with extensive experience in both the private and nonprofit sectors. He is currently the executive director of RiverQuest, a non-profit educational organization that operates river based educational programs for students, teachers and the community of Southwestern Pennsylvania. Prior to that, he was the director of environmental health and safety for Duquesne University in Pittsburgh after a distinguished career at PPG Industries, Inc. where he served as corporate director of environment, health and safety and PPG’s corporate counsel of environment health and safety.

“The Pennsylvania environment is at a crossroads,” said Mr. King.  “The challenges posed by a state budget shortfall, funding for environmental programs and departments, unconventional gas drilling, climate change and economic growth have all converged on Pennsylvania and we’ll have but one chance to make the right choices.  PEC looks forward to leading the debate and the public process.”

King’s background includes previous leadership positions as the executive director for the Institute of Professional Environmental Practice, director of the Certificate Program in Environmental Law, Science and Policy at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, an environmental management consultant and an environmental attorney.  He holds a bachelor of science degree in business administration from Duquesne University and a law degree from the University of Pittsburgh.  He is a member and chair of the Allegheny County Board of Health and is a member of the Environmental Committees of the American, Pennsylvania and Allegheny County Bar Associations. He has served as an adjunct professor of environmental management at Duquesne University’s Environmental Science and Management Program for 12 years and as an adjunct professor of environmental law at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law for 20 years.  He has also been a member of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Solid Waste Advisory Committee.

He is a past president of the Air and Waste Management Association, a past chairman of the Chemical Manufacturers Association’s Environmental Management Committee, a recipient of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Environmental Law Committee award for distinguished service to the profession in 2002, and a lifetime achievement award in 2009 from the Institute of Professional Environmental Practice.

King is a Qualified Environmental Professional and has written and spoken extensively in the environmental area.  He is a resident of Pittsburgh.

Don Welsh served as PEC’s president and chief executive officer since April 2009, after serving eight years as the Region III administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, where he led the environmental protection efforts for six states in the mid-Atlantic region.  Prior to that, he was the deputy secretary for state/federal relations for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and as the chief of government affairs for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“Don Welsh has been a tireless champion in protecting Pennsylvania’s environment and a great asset to our organization,” said Tony Bartolomeo, chairman of the board of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council.

“The increasing challenges to environmental quality and conservation, such as the Marcellus Shale, that Pennsylvania has encountered during his tenure with PEC have been some of the most consequential in the history of this Commonwealth and Don has pointed PEC in the right direction to make a tremendous impact on the future,” he added.  “We wish him the very best for the future.”

Founded 40 years ago, the Pennsylvania Environmental Council has been the leading environmental organization in the state, and was instrumental in the passage of nearly every major piece of legislation and regulatory initiative affecting clean air, clean water, land use and conservation, hazardous materials and other major public policy actions since that time.  Today, the organization is heavily engaged in a number of critical initiatives surrounding the development of the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania, trail and green space development, green energy and climate change programs, sustainable community and stormwater infrastructure projects.  The organization is also actively involved in seeking to restore Pennsylvania’s Growing Greener program to support environmental conservation and remediation programs across the state.