Chief of EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Branch appointed to Sarasota County’s Environmentally Sensitive Lands Oversight Committee

Allenbach to serve three-year term

Becky Allenbach. Image from her LinkedIn account

In unanimously approving their May 22 Consent Agenda of routine business matters, the Sarasota County commissioners appointed a manager of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the county’s Environmentally Sensitive Lands Oversight Committee (ESLOC).

That advisory board, which makes recommendations to the commission and provides advice on land protection in the county, has 10 members.

Becky Allenbach of Sarasota will serve a three-year term effective through May 2027, a county staff memo said.

Her LinkedIn profile notes that Allenbach is chief of the EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Branch, a post she has held since June 2011. In her application, Allenbach wrote that she is also a member of the policy board of the Sarasota Bay National Estuary Program.

One other vacancy remains on the ESLOC, the staff memo noted. That is for a “business and development representative,” the memo added.

Allenbach will hold a seat reserved for a member with environmental expertise, the memo said.

In response to the county application question about why she wanted to serve on the ESLOC, Allenbach noted her “interest in protecting Sarasota Bay and maintaining its water quality. There is a direct relationship between land use and water quality. It is imperative that impacts on water quality be considered in development and environmentally sensitive lands should be protected and honor use restrictions.”

In regard to her background, Allenbach wrote that she holds Bachelor of Science degrees in biology and chemistry and that she has worked as a manager at the EPA for more than 32 years. “During this time,” she continued, “I have supervised engineers and scientists responsible for permitting and enforcement of environmental laws and regulations regarding water and air quality. This includes clean water, wastewater and drinking water, non-point source pollution and wetlands issues as well as climate adaptation and resiliency issues.”

Further, she pointed out, “I serve as an environmental policy expert and collaborate with other federal and state agencies as well as Indian Tribes on water quality issues on a daily basis. This includes the US Army Corps of Engineers, Federal and [Florida] Fish and Wildlife Agencies, [the] National Park Service and [the] Department of Interior as well as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.”

Another document in the agenda packet for the County Commission’s May 22 meeting shows that Allenbach was the only applicant for the ESLOC seat.

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