Ohio EPA Puts Focus on Lake Erie

Ohio EPA has announced new senior staff appointments that will focus solely on improving Lake Erie’s water quality.

Karl Gebhardt, currently Ohio EPA’s Division of Surface Water (DSW) chief and deputy director for water resources, will focus his efforts solely on being the deputy director for water resources to complete two main tasks.

One is to implement the binational agreement Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor recently signed with Michigan and Ontario to reduce nutrient levels going into Lake Erie by 40 percent. The other is coming up with a strategic plan on managing the dredge material to comply with the state’s recent commitment to not dispose of dredge material in Lake Erie.

Pam Allen, currently the Division of Materials and Waste Management (DMWM) chief, will join Gebhardt in the Director’s Office and work full-time to implement these goals. In addition, the Lake Erie Commission and its staff will report to Gebhardt to work together to manage Ohio EPA assets on the Lake.

Current DSW Assistant Chief Tiffani Kavalec will become the new DSW Chief. To fill Allen’s previous position, Terrie TerMeer, currently an assistant chief in the Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance, will become the DMWM Chief.

Gebhardt joined Ohio EPA in April 2014 from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), where he served as deputy director and as the agency’s point person for water quality and water resource issues. Allen has been the Chief of DMWM (formerly the Division of Solid and Infectious Waste Management) since June 2007.

The former division is now part of Ohio EPA, formally joining the agency in 2012. Prior to her days in recycling, TerMeer served as the Chief of the Ohio Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a program that provided employment and training opportunities to young adults in the field of conservation and natural resources. Terrie served for nearly two years as the Deputy Director of Special Events for the Secretary of State. Prior to that, she served nearly six years as the Special Assistant to former Columbus Mayor Gregory S. Lashutka.