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New head of EPA New England wants to engage with 'historically overburdened' communities

The Housatonic River in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, in 2009 after a GE/EPA cleanup.
Nancy Eve Cohen
The Housatonic River in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, in 2009 after a GE/EPA cleanup.

The New England office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a new top administrator.

President Joe Biden has appointed David Cash as the administrator of the agency's regional New England office.

Cash recently was the dean of a public policy graduate program at UMass Boston.

He also served in leadership positions in Massachusetts government including in the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, the Department of Public Utilities and the Department of Environmental Protection under Governor Deval Patrick. Cash was director of air, energy and waste policy under Governor Mitt Romney.

Early in his career, Cash taught science in the Amherst public schools.

Cash inherits the EPA's controversial plan to clean up the Housatonic River, which includes a disposal site for low-level PCB waste in Lee. PCBs are considered "probable human carcinogens" by the EPA.

In a statement, Cash said he's eager to engage with "all New England communities, especially those most vulnerable and historically overburdened."

Nancy Eve Cohen is a senior reporter focusing on Berkshire County. Earlier in her career she was NPR’s Midwest editor in Washington, D.C., managing editor of the Northeast Environmental Hub and recorded sound for TV networks on global assignments, including the war in Sarajevo and an interview with Fidel Castro.
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