Gov. Dave Heineman today has named Pat Rice of Lincoln as the Acting Director of the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, effective Dec. 20.
Rice, 61, has most recently served as the Assistant Director at the Department of Environmental Quality. He has held that position for the last 19 years. Before coming to the Department, he served for 18 year as the Director of the Division of Technical and Support Services for the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
“I am honored that Governor Heineman asked me to serve as Acting Director of the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality,” Rice said. “I have worked the last 37 years in the environmental arena and look forward to continuing the important work of protecting Nebraska’s air, land, and water resources.”
Rice earned a Bachelor of Science in civil/environmental engineering from South Dakota State University. He is completing his third term as a national board member of the Association of Clean Water Administrators and has served as a commissioner on the Southwestern Low-Level Radioactive Waste Commission.
The primary role of the Department of Environmental Quality is to ensure the State’s natural resources are protected from contamination. The more than 200 employees of the Department of Environmental Quality work with businesses, communities and individuals toward the common goal of protecting the environment. The department’s permitting, compliance, remediation, monitoring, and assistance programs are designed to help achieve this goal.
Rice and his wife Donlynn have two sons. Rice will be paid an annual salary of $120,000.