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Md. environment chief Shari T. Wilson stepping down

Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Shari T. Wilson will resign next month, ending a nearly four-year tenure during which her agency was criticized for unpredictable enforcement of environmental regulations.

The Department of the Environment announced the change Tuesday afternoon, stating Wilson requested not to be part of Gov. Martin O’Malley’s cabinet during his second term.

O’Malley, in a statement, praised Wilson for crafting an approach to climate change, reducing stormwater pollution and her efforts to “increase efficiency and accountability within the agency.”

In an interview with The Daily Record in the days before the Nov. 2 election, however, O’Malley singled out enforcement of environmental regulations as an area in need of improvement in his second term.

“I’ve been disappointed at times with the lack of timeliness,” he said then. “I know every agency has absorbed staff reductions, but the lack of timeliness and lack of clarity on some of these environmental calls … I think people would rather know up front why they won’t be allowed to do something than after they’ve spent $100,000 hiring lawyers and architects and engineers.”