Earlier this week, Governor Jack Markell announced he would be nominating Deputy Secretary David Small to be Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC). Small will succeed Collin O’Mara who is to become the President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation in July/ Markell’s nomination is subject to confirmation by the Delaware State Senate.
“David’s depth of knowledge and leadership on environmental issues has helped improve the quality of life for residents and visitors of our state for nearly three decades,” said Governor Markell. “His work at DNREC to make our state safer, cleaner and healthier has earned the respect of many, both in and out of State government, and his wealth of experience makes him an ideal fit to build on our efforts to address Delaware’s energy and environmental challenges.”
If confirmed next month by Senate, Small’s move would end speculation about DNREC’s leadership future at a time when the administration is struggling to draw up a viable bill to finance a proposed statewide storm water and water quality initiative. Small, a former DNREC information and education chief, has served as deputy secretary for 13 years, filling in as acting secretary a number of times under previous secretaries and working in top management. “There are clearly some financial issues,” Small added, “and I think our priorities become” part of the mix for the state’s larger priorities.”
Senate Minority Whip Greg Lavelle, R-Sharpley, said Small was a good choice. “I know Dave well. He knows the department. He’s well suited to become secretary,” he said. “There’s certainly a lot of work to do for anybody, and combined with this being the last 2 1/2 years of the governor’s administration probably makes him a uniquely qualified candidate.”