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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.



To protect and restore the environment for the health and well-being of all Marylanders.


Healthy, vibrant and sustainable communities and ecosystems in Maryland.



  1. Service. Providing value to citizens, customers, colleagues, and communities by being responsive, inclusive respectful, and resourceful and transparent in how we operate programs and invest the public's money.
  2. Science and Technology. Using science-driven regulation and policy to protect the environment more effectively and information technology to serve customers more efficiently.
  3. Innovation. Embracing creativity to achieve better results, while encouraging the use of market-based and partnership-driven tools and strategies for improvements in environmental technologies, regulation, and finance.
  4. Integration. Integration of air, water, land, and science programs for more effective and efficient results, and better use of ecosystem-based permitting to increase efficiency, offer better consistency and improve environmental protection.
  5. Partnership. Increasing outreach and openness to broaden the range of public and private sector participants and strategies that foster better solutions through broader stakeholder involvement in environmental challenges.
  6. Performance. Focusing on results and tracking outcomes to accelerate progress in how to manage for cleaner air, water, and land and to reduce risks from pollution, climate change, environmental emergencies, and other threats.
  7. Employees. Cultivating and fostering a talented and diverse workforce and providing opportunities for development of professionalism, innovation, productivity, teamwork and leadership. 


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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