John Busterud ’81 Appointed as EPA Regional Administrator

  • Alumni
Photo credit: Atterberry

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has appointed John W. Busterud ’81 as Regional Administrator for Region 9. He will oversee federal environmental protection efforts in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, the U.S. territories in the Pacific, and 148 federally recognized tribes.

“John Busterud’s extensive background in energy and environmental issues makes him a great choice to lead Region 9,” EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a press release“I look forward to working with him to advance the agency’s mission of protecting human health and the environment for all in the Pacific Southwest.”

“The regional EPA administrator is crucially important in California,” said UC Hastings Law Professor Dave Owen. “One of the regional office’s key roles is making sure that state air quality plans will be strong enough to meet national air quality standards. Partly because of our geography–sunny valleys are hard places to control air pollution–California has struggled to meet those standards.”

Owen noted that the EPA can play a crucial role in supporting and demanding more effective state efforts, but that some are worried whether the EPA will continue its commitment to do so, and worry about the EPA’s active efforts to undercut California’s ability to control pollution from cars and trucks.

Heralded for his distinguished public service, Busterud brings more than 30 years of experience as an environmental and energy attorney to the role. Most recently, he was Senior Director and Managing Counsel, Environment and Real Estate, Law Department, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), in San Francisco from 1985-2016. At PG&E, he managed a broad practice including air and water quality, hazardous materials compliance and remediation, endangered species, and legislative and environmental policy matters. During his tenure at PG&E, Busterud served as an industry representative on EPA’s Clean Air Act Advisory Committee from 2012-2017.

Busterud is also a retired U.S. Army Colonel with multiple Combined, Joint and Interagency assignments, including active duty deployments in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and Combined Forces Command on the Korean Peninsula. His decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star and Parachutist’s Badge.

He most recently served as a board member for the California Council for Environmental and Economic Balance, Vice-Chair of the California Veterans Board and Chair of the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East.