SACRAMENTO March 27, 2019 – The California Senate has confirmed Jared Blumenfeld as Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA). Blumenfeld was confirmed with a bipartisan vote of 32-3.
“I’m honored to have been appointed as California’s Secretary of Environmental Protection by Governor Newsom and to have been confirmed by the Senate,” said Blumenfeld. “I look forward to equitably implementing CalEPA’s mission to ‘ensure public health, environmental quality and economic vitality.’ Through the effective use of science and the law, and by engaging communities transparently, we have the opportunity to improve the lives of millions of Californians.”
As Secretary, Blumenfeld oversees the state’s efforts to fight climate change, protect air and water quality, regulate pesticides and toxic substances, achieve the state’s recycling and waste reduction goals, and advance environmental justice. As a member of Governor Newsom’s cabinet, he also advises the governor on environmental policy.
During a Senate Rules Committee confirmation hearing earlier this month, Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) praised Blumenfeld’s appointment. “I appreciate the experience, expertise and ability to engage that you bring to so many issues in California. We are very fortunate that the Governor was able to make this appointment.”
“Jared Blumenfeld is a great choice to lead California’s Environmental Protection Agency,” said U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein. “I’ve had the pleasure of working with him on several issues, including improving the clarity of Lake Tahoe and restoring San Francisco Bay. His previous experience and dedication to public service will make him a strong steward for our state’s environment.”
Blumenfeld brings to CalEPA more than 25 years of environmental policy and management experience at the local, national and international levels. From 2009 to 2016, he served under former President Barack Obama as Regional Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the Pacific Southwest, a region that includes California, Nevada, Arizona, Hawaii, the Pacific Islands and 148 tribal nations.
Previously, Blumenfeld was Director of San Francisco’s Department of Environment from 2001 to 2009, first under former Mayor Willie Brown and then under Gavin Newsom. He and Mayor Newsom worked effectively to make San Francisco “the most sustainable city in the nation” by developing a municipal Environment Code that includes mandatory recycling and composting, bans on Styrofoam and plastic bags, and a 20 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
Prior to government service, Blumenfeld led international campaigns for nongovernmental organizations. He led the habitat protection program for the International Fund for Animal Welfare and was Executive Director for the Natural Resource Defense Council’s Earth Summit Watch from 1993 to 1995.
Blumenfeld graduated from Cambridge College of Arts and Technology and earned a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of London and a Master of Laws from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law.
Prior to his appointment, Blumenfeld founded a private consulting firm to advise clean-tech companies on strategic planning and market development. He also hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, a 2,650-mile route that stretches from the U.S.-Mexico border to the U.S.-Canada border. He continues to host an award-winning podcast on environmental topics, called Podship Earth.
“We face many challenges — from the worst air quality in the nation, to more than one million people lacking access to safe and affordable drinking water, to the legacy of toxic contamination in nearly every community, to the increasingly devastating impacts of climate change — that all require urgent action,” Blumenfeld said.
“These seem like intractable problems. But if we listen to the voices of community members, adopt the innovative spirit of our business community, and work collaboratively across government agencies, we can make measurable progress.”