Wisconsin DNR’s Thiede leaves to join Stepp with EPA

The Wisconsin DNR approved a request this week to pull millions of gallons of water daily from Lake Michigan to serve a new Foxconn Technology Group manufacturing plant, helping the Taiwanese electronics giant clear a major regulatory hurdle.

Another top Wisconsin DNR official is leaving to join President Donald Trump’s administration.

The DNR announced Monday that Deputy Secretary Kurt Thiede is leaving to become chief of staff at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 5 office in Chicago.

He’ll join his former boss, Cathy Stepp, in Chicago. Stepp served as DNR secretary from 2011 until last year, when she joined the EPA as a deputy administrator in a regional office near Kansas City. She was named Region 5 administrator in December.

Thiede has been with the DNR for 19 years in various capacities. He was appointed deputy secretary in March 2015.

With Thiede’s departure, Ed Eberle, the current assistant deputy secretary, has been appointed to the deputy secretary’s role and Patrick Stevens, now the division administrator for the agency’s Environmental Management division, has been appointed as the new Assistant Deputy Secretary.

Eberle has been with the administration since 2011 and joined the DNR as assistant deputy secretary two years ago, bringing 20 years of knowledge and experience in state service in both the legislative and executive branches.

Stevens was appointed division administrator at the DNR in February 2011, overseeing many of the department’s environmental programs. Prior to his service at DNR, Pat worked for several different associations and in those roles, including that of legal counsel, worked closely with the DNR on a wide range of environmental issues.

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