Peter H. Kostmayer, a former member of Congress from Pennsylvania, has been named by the White House as administrator for EPA Region 3, which includes all of the Chesapeake Bay watershed except for a small portion in New York.
Regional administrators, who are responsible for carrying out EPA programs and activities within their boundaries, do not have to be confirmed by the Senate. In making the announcement on March 14, EPA Administrator Carol Browner praised Kostmayer, saying he “led the fight on many environmental fronts.”
Kostmayer was the Democratic representative to Congress from Pennsylvania’s Bucks and Montgomery counties for 14 years, from 1977-81, and from 1983-1993, losing his bid for re-election in 1992. He was extensively involved in environmental issues as a member of the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, and the Energy and Commerce Committee, where he chaired two subcommittees.
While in Congress, he wrote legislation to protect the Delaware and Allegheny rivers, and to permit “debt for nature” trades to help protect tropical rain forests in developing countries. He also initiated congressional action to add more than 2,000 acres to the Gettysburg National Park.
A 1971 graduate of Columbia University, he was a journalist and press secretary before running for office at age 30.
As administrator, he will serve as the EPA’s top representative on the Bay Program’s Principals’ Staff Committee, which is made up of top policy advisers to the Executive Council (the governors of the Maryland, Pennsylvania and Vir ginia, the mayor of the District of Columbia, the EPA administrator, and the chairman of the Chesapeake Bay Commission).
Region 3, headquartered in Philadelphia, includes the District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. All of the Chesapeake drainage is in Region 3 except a portion of the Susquehanna watershed which is in southern New York, part of EPA Region 2.