Patricia Aho, Commissioner
Welcome to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection’s website. As an agency whose mission is to protect and enhance Maine’s environment and natural resources, we know a healthy environment builds a vibrant and robust economy. DEP employs nearly 400 scientists, engineers, geologists and environmental assistance specialists in four offices across the state including Portland, Augusta, Bangor and Presque Isle. Please sign up for DEP’s quarterly newsletter to stay up to date with Environmental News and visit the Commissioner’s Corner to find current news and views from Commissioner Aho.
Patricia Aho has lead the Department of Environmental Protection since September 2011, previously serving as Deputy Commissioner. As commissioner, she has focused on making improvements to assistance, compliance, and environmental literacy for all members of the regulated community and public. By establishing the first state-run Sustainability Division in New England to incorporate DEP’s many material management programs such as product stewardship, recycling, composting and priority chemicals, she centralized programs that had similar goals into a structured division placing more emphasis and prominence on that work.
A top priority of Ms. Aho’s is improving efficiency and transparency throughout the Department while maintaining high level protections for the environment. This work has included a thorough review of the agency’s 200 plus rules to identify outdated and unnecessary rules, the establishment of the audio-streaming for the public to follow the Department’s rulemaking and comment sessions, and improving internal efficiencies.
Ms. Aho serves as representative for the State of Maine on the Board of Directors for the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, serves as the Secretary-Treasurer of the Ozone Transport Commission and on the Board of the Environmental Council of the States.
Ms. Aho, a native of Boothbay Harbor, graduated from Nasson College and Western New England College, School of Law. Prior to joining the department, her career focused on many environmental and energy related issues facing Maine.
Ms. Aho lives in Newcastle with her husband Ron and a very rambunctious Australian shepherd.