Alan Olson, executive director of the Montana Petroleum Association, praised the appointment.
“Ms. Kaster’s experience with the U.S. Department of (the) Interior in natural resource matters will be a great benefit in managing Montana’s school trust lands and other resource related issues,” Olson said in the release.
Whitney Tawney, incoming executive director of Montana Conservation Voters, said her organization will give Kaster a fair shake but has concerns.
“In particular, Amanda Kaster’s most recent work at the U.S. Interior Department is troubling but we will happily meet with everyone and hope to see the Gianforte administration champion our public lands, clean water, clean air and communities,” Tawney said Wednesday.
At DEQ, Gianforte said Dorrington brings knowledge of the department.
“Chris understands how we can enhance agency operations to better serve the people of Montana,” Gianforte said. “Chris is committed to helping Montana live up to its full potential while protecting our environment, and I look forward to relying on his know-how and experience at the agency.”
DEQ’s mission is to “protect, sustain, and improve a clean and healthful environment to benefit present and future generations,” language that mirrors the state Constitution. The department has about 365 full-time equivalent employees and an annual budget of about $67 million. The agency does permitting, registration and compliance work across its air, energy, mining, water quality, remediation and cleanup divisions and bureaus.