Craig Anderson, the newly appointed environmental division chief of the Utah Attorney General's Office, said Wednesday his immediate priority is to put into place a law that changes how private parties challenge agency orders on environmental issues.
Those orders involve areas overseen by five state boards, including air quality, radiation control, drinking water, water quality and hazardous waste control. Under SB11 sponsored by Sen. Margaret Dayton, R-Orem, and signed into law by Gov. Gary Herbert appeals of division directors' decisions will no longer be heard by the boards but by the director of environmental quality.
"It's been a job I've been interested in for quite awhile," Anderson said. "We'll be putting in policies to streamline the process and I'm excited for the opportunity."
The former deputy county attorney with the Salt Lake County Attorney's Office was appointed by Attorney General Mark Shurtleff. Anderson, 61, replaces Denise Chancellor, who retired after serving two years in the position.
Anderson said he found out he'd gotten the job in July after a three-week application and review process. His immediate boss will be Assistant Attorney General John Swallow, who is currently running against Democrat Dee Smith in the Attorney General's race. Anderson will oversee all of the environmental staff in each of the five divisions.
Shurtleff said in a statement that Anderson is "a brilliant lawyer and dedicated public servant."
Anderson had held the post of the chairman of the Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law Section of the Utah State Bar in 1996. He was an adjunct professor between 1993 and 2006 at the University of Utah, where he received his law degree in 1977.