BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Gov. Larry Hogan on Monday named Horacio Tablada as the head of the Maryland Department of the Environment, replacing Ben Grumbles, who will serve as executive director of the Environmental Council of the States.

Tablada is the deputy secretary of the department and has worked as a state regulator since 1985, Hogan said. His appointment is effective June 1.

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“Horacio Tablada has committed his career to serving the public and protecting the environment and public health,” said Hogan. “He will lead MDE’s ongoing work to protect and restore the environment, including the Chesapeake Bay, boost jobs and our economy through the safe redevelopment of brownfields, and help the state achieve its climate goals through partnerships.”

Grumbles has helmed the Department of the Environment since Hogan took office in 2015, making him the longest serving secretary of the agency in the Maryland history, the governor’s office said.

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“It’s been the honor of a lifetime to serve in the Hogan administration, working for bold and bipartisan environmental solutions,” said Grumbles. “Maryland is a national leader in climate action and environmental protection thanks to Governor Hogan’s leadership and the tireless efforts of our department’s employees, and our many public and private sector partners throughout the state, region, and nation.”

Prior to being named deputy secretary of the agency, Tablada directed the state’s Land Management Administration for brownfield redevelopment, recycling and waste diversion,  waste management, mining and fuel facilities.

“I want to thank Governor Hogan for his confidence and for the appointment as secretary of the Department of the Environment,” said Tablada. “I look forward to serving the citizens of Maryland and continuing to advance the science-based policies that have resulted in cleaner air, a cleaner Chesapeake Bay, sustainable and restored properties and protection of our children from lead poisoning.”

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Suzanne Dorsey, an assistant secretary, has been appointed deputy secretary, the governor said.

CBS Baltimore Staff