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Maine Commissioners

Paul Mercer
NEIWPCC Executive Committee Member

Paul Mercer is commissioner of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. He started his working career as a marine engineer aboard U.S. merchant vessels. Subsequently, as a principal in two successive engineering firms, Mercer applied his expertise to projects in renewables, solid fuels, and biomass energy systems. In 2008, he joined the staff of his alma mater, the Maine Maritime Academy, where he served in multiple roles, including chair of the Engineering Department and assistant to the academy’s president on sustainability and environmental initiatives.

Brian Kavanah
Representative of Paul Mercer at NEIWPCC Executive Committee and Commission Meetings
Brian Kavanah is co-acting director of the Bureau of Water Quality at the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. In addition, he serves as the director of the Division of Water Quality Management, a position he has held since 2001. The division is responsible for all regulatory programs for point source wastewater discharges, and point source stormwater discharges. Kavanah has worked in the field of environmental protection for 31 years, holding a variety of positions with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and briefly with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in New York City.

Donald Witherill
Representative of Paul Mercer at NEIWPCC Executive Committee and Commission Meetings
Donald Witherill is co-acting director of the Bureau of Water Quality at the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. In addition, he serves as the director of the Division of Environmental Assessment, a position he has held since 2012. The division is responsible for monitoring and assessing Maine’s surface waters, providing biennial reports on Maine’s water quality, and managing the Nonpoint Source Pollution Program. Witherill has worked for the Maine Department of Environmental Protection since 1979. Previous responsibilities have included overseeing permitting for activities affecting wetlands and water resources, and development of the state’s Stormwater Management Program.

Ricker Hamilton
As commissioner of Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services, Ricker Hamilton oversees the largest agency in state government. Before his appointment, he served as acting commissioner of DHHS for three months. Previously, he served as deputy commissioner of programs within Maine DHHS for nearly four years. He has more than 40 years of experience managing programs providing service for children and families, substance use disorders, mental health, sexual assault and domestic violence, aging and disability, and acute psychiatric care. He holds a M.S.W. from Boston College, a B.A. from St. Anselm College, and a certification as a Reserve Law Enforcement Officer from the Maine Criminal Justice Academy.

Nancy Beardsley
Representative of Maine Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner at NEIWPCC Commission Meetings
After previously serving as the director of Maine’s Drinking Water Program, Nancy Beardsley is the director of the Division of Environmental Health at the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Before joining the Maine CDC, she worked for the Maine Geological Survey and Maine DEP in various capacities for 10 years. Beardsley is a member of the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators and EPA’s National Drinking Water Advisory Council. She received an M.P.A. from the University of Maine at Orono and a B.S. in Geology from Boston University.

Travis Noyes
Travis Noyes has over 20 years of experience in the engineering consulting field. His experiences range from serving clients in the municipal, industrial, and private sectors. His work included site development and permitting, utility design and permitting, and water and wastewater treatment design. Noyes currently serves as the Engineering Division Director for CES, Inc., a 70-person consulting firm located in Brewer, Maine. In his spare time he volunteers his time as a coach with Bangor area youth sports programs. Noyes is a PE and is a graduate of the University of Maine at Orono.

David Van Slyke
Since 1991, David Van Slyke has been an environmental lawyer at Preti Flaherty, one of Maine’s largest law firms. Van Slyke chairs Preti Flaherty’s Environmental Practice Group and co-chairs the Climate Strategy Group. His work is primarily focused on compliance counseling, environmental audits, defense of enforcement actions, project permitting, and environmental risk management. Previously, Van Slyke was an environmental lawyer for EPA and participated at the highest levels of the agency’s compliance and policymaking efforts as acting associate enforcement counsel for Superfund and deputy associate enforcement counsel for hazardous waste. Van Slyke is a fellow of the American College of Environmental Lawyers. He is a graduate of St. Lawrence University, where he earned a joint degree in Chemistry and Environmental Science, and Syracuse University College of Law.

Brian Tarbuck
Brian Tarbuck has served the Greater Augusta Utility District as general manager since 2007. He is a member of the Maine Board of Licensure of Water System Operators and a former president of the Maine Water Utilities Association. Tarbuck is a graduate of the Worcester Polytechnic Institute.