Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet
Scientist, naturalist 'Jo' Hargis appointed executive director of the Environmental Quality Commission
FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 13, 2006) - Irala "Jo" Hargis, an environmental scientist and naturalist, has been appointed executive director of the Kentucky Environmental Quality Commission (EQC), Governor Ernie Fletcher announced today.
Hargis has been an environmental scientist with R.D. Zande & Associates, an engineering and consulting firm, since August 2001. Before that, she was a naturalist at the Natural History Educational Co. in Erlanger and a biologist with 3D/International. She holds a Bachelor of Science in wildlife biology and chemistry from Murray State University.
"I am honored to have been selected by this administration," Hargis said. "As executive director I will continue to support EQC’s mission to serve as a public forum for the exchange of views, concerns and ideas relating to the quality and health of Kentucky’s natural resources. I am committed to promoting partnerships that involve the public, advocacy groups and industries that will focus on conserving a healthy environment for future generations."
Hargis’ work at R.D. Zande included biological evaluations and assessments, wetland and stream restoration plans, water anti-degradation analysis, cumulative impact assessments and ecological survey reports. She also supervised crews of biologists and technicians on endangered species surveys, habitat mitigation projects and environmental assessments.
"Engaging the public is a key mission of EQC, and a key part of the process of protecting Kentucky’s treasured environment, today and in the future," said LaJuana S. Wilcher, secretary of the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet, to which EQC is attached. "We look forward to Jo’s leadership in working with the public and the commission to identify and help resolve the commonwealth’s important environmental issues," Wilcher said.
The EQC is a seven-member citizen board created under state law. Its mission is to facilitate public discussion and resolution of environmental issues, monitor environmental trends and conditions, promote partnerships to protect the environment for future generations and serve as an advisory board to the governor and other state officials on environmental matters.