Bloomy appoints new environmental commissioner

Bloomy appoints new environmental commissioner
By Rebecca Henely

Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Carter Strickland Jr., deputy commissioner for sustainability for the city Department of Environmental Protection, would now be the new head of that organization at a news conference in LeFrak City Wednesday.

“He can step right in, knows the organization and the organization knows him,” Bloomberg said.

Standing with Bloomberg and outgoing DEP Commissioner Cas Holloway at the department’s office at 59-17 Junction Boulevard in LeFrak City while his wife Nicole sat among the press, Strickland said he would continue the “transformative period” Holloway oversaw.

“I will work to make the city a better place for all New Yorkers, with you especially in mind,” Strickland said, referring to his wife.

Holloway who had been DEP Commissioner since January 2010, left the position Aug. 4 become Deputy Mayor for Operations after Stephen Goldsmith, who came under criticism during the city’s mishandling of the December 2010 snowstorm, stepped down for an infrastructure finance career.

“I’m sorry to lose Steve, happy to get Cas,” Bloomberg said.

Bloomberg said Strickland, who lives in Brooklyn Heights with his wife and two children, was a major player in the development and implementation of PlaNYC and the Green Infrastructure Plan. PlanNYC, begun in 2007, is intended to improve the city’s energy efficiency in preparation for 1 million more residents to move into the city, while the latter plan is designed to capture more of the city’s rainfall.

Strickland said he would also fight against unnecessary federal mandates and would work to keep the city’s water rates down.

“Last year we delivered the lowest water rate in six years,” Strickland said.

City Councilman James Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows), chairman of the Environmental Protection Committee, said in a statement he “enthusiastically applaud[ed]” Bloomberg’s choice.

“Carter is a nationally known and universally respected environmental leader who will most assuredly provide DEP with great leadership and advance Mayor Bloomberg’s environmental vision with great distinction,” Gennaro said.

Joe Marten, commissioner of the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation, said in a statement Strickland is a proven leader.

“Carter’s vast experience in sustainability and policy initiatives, and as an administrator make him a natural fit for his new post as NYC DEP Commissioner,” Marten said.

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at rhenely@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.