SANTA FE — Secretary Designate Butch Tongate has been confirmed unanimously by the Senate as Secretary of the New Mexico Environment Department.
Tongate, who has worked at the Environment Department since 1993, was appointed Deputy Secretary in 2011.
“I’m proud to have Butch lead this department, which is so important to present and future generations of New Mexicans,” Gov. Susana Martinez said. “As a 23-year veteran of the Environment Department and an integral part of our team since the beginning of the Administration, Secretary Tongate knows what it takes to protect New Mexico’s environment in a consistent, balanced and responsible way.”
Secretary Tongate took over leadership of the Environment Department following the recent resignation of former Secretary Ryan Flynn. This transition comes on the heels of the Administration negotiating the largest settlement in the history of the U.S. between a state and the Department of Energy, holding the EPA accountable for the Gold King Mine spill, and taking action on the Kirtland Air Force Base fuel spill.
“Using sound science and a balanced, stable approach to environmental policy serves New Mexico best. The work we do in the Environment Department affects every resident of the state every day,” Secretary Butch Tongate said. “Whether we’re providing oversight of drinking water systems, regulating air emissions, ensuring safe and healthy workplaces, or inspecting restaurants, our employees know that their efforts have a significant impact on protecting New Mexico’s citizens and our environment. I look forward to continuing to work with Governor Martinez to fulfill that mission.”