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Maryland State Government Maryland Department of the Environment

Office of the Secretary

Secretary Ben Grumbles

Secretary Ben GrumblesBen Grumbles was confirmed as Secretary of the Maryland Department of the Environment by the Maryland State Senate on March 6, 2015. He had been nominated by Governor Larry Hogan in January 2015 to lead MDE. Prior to that, he was President of the U.S. Water Alliance, a Washington-based environmental nonprofit organization that educates the public on the value of water and the need for integrated and innovative solutions. Ben has served as the Presidentially-appointed, Senate-confirmed Assistant Administrator for Water at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as the Senate-confirmed Director of Arizona’s Department of Environmental Quality and as Environmental Counsel and Senior Staff Member on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Science Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives. Ben has broad experience in energy, climate, air, waste and agricultural policy and regulation. He’s a member of the National Academy of Science’s Water Science and Technology Board and a frequent lecturer and analyst on environmental law and policy. He has a master’s degree in environmental law from George Washington University, a J.D. from Emory University School of Law and a bachelor's degree from Wake Forest University. Ben is one of Baltimore's newest residents but he has lived in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, with his wife and children, over the last 30 years.


MDE Mission

Our mission is to protect and restore the quality of Maryland’s air, water and land resources, while fostering smart growth, a thriving and sustainable economy and healthy communities.


MDE has the following seven broad goals to measure its progress in achieving its mission and vision:

  1. Promoting Land Redevelopment and Community Revitalization
  2. Ensuring Safe and Adequate Drinking Water
  3. Reducing Maryland Citizens' Exposure to Hazards
  4. Ensuring the Safety of Fish and Shellfish Harvested in Maryland.
  5. Improving and Protecting Maryland’s Water Quality
  6. Ensuring the Air is Safe to Breathe
  7. Providing Excellent Customer Services to Achieve Environmental Protection.


MDE employees are:

  • Credible and have the public's confidence;
  • Supportive of teamwork, and empowered by management;
  • Innovative and resourceful;
  • Customer-service-oriented;
  • Professional and proud of their work;
  • Responsive to their stakeholders; and
  • Supportive of environmental stewardship.

MDE Customers and Stakeholders

MDE’s customers include Maryland citizens who expect protection and restoration of the environment; businesses, governments, and individuals who are applying for permits and receiving technical assistance; and technical personnel such as: well drillers, sanitarians, waste water operators, and asbestos contractors who require certification. Other key stakeholders include environmental and public health advocacy groups, citizen groups, educators, scientists and natural resource users.


In 1987, the Maryland Department of the Environment was created to protect and preserve the state's air, water and land resources and safeguard the environmental health of Maryland's citizens. MDE's duties also encompass enforcement of environmental laws and regulations, long-term planning and research. MDE provides technical assistance to Maryland industry and communities for pollution and growth issues and environmental emergencies.


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