Ex-official at U.S. attorney’s office named chief counsel of EPA region

Published: Friday, May. 9, 2014 - 10:43 pm

Sylvia Quast, who held a high post in the U.S. attorney’s office in Sacramento, has been named chief counsel of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Pacific Southwest Region.

With the move to the region’s San Francisco headquarters, Quast returns to what she calls “my thing.”

She has more than two decades of experience handling environmental matters in both public and private practice.

After several years in the private sector, she started her federal career in 1994 with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division in Washington, D.C.

Before the recent move, Quast was the executive assistant U.S. attorney in the Sacramento-based Eastern District of California, the third-ranking official in the office.

“We are thrilled to have Sylvia join EPA as our top lawyer in the region,” Regional Administrator Jared Blumenfeld said Friday in a prepared statement. “Her commitment to vigorous enforcement of our laws means that communities across California, Nevada, Arizona, Hawaii and 148 (American Indian) tribal nations have a strong advocate for public health and the environment.”

Quast, 52, has litigated environmental enforcement actions in the U.S. Supreme Court and the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, among other venues.

Before her elevation to executive assistant in Sacramento, Quast served as chief of the office’s defense litigation unit, where she guided cases on a number of issues, including clean water and air.

She received her law degree from Harvard Law School and an undergraduate degree in philosophy and political science from the University of Minnesota.

Call The Bee’s Denny Walsh, (916) 321-1189.

Read more articles by Denny Walsh

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