October 27, 2011

Former High-Ranking EPA Official to Join Duke

Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, October 27, 2011

CONTACT: Erin McKenzie
(919) 613-3652

DURHAM, N.C. -- Longtime U.S. Environmental Protection Agency official Robert Brenner will join Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions as a senior fellow this month.

Brenner, who recently retired from the EPA, devoted much of his work with the agency to developing and later regulating pollution under the Clean Air Act. At Duke, Brenner will apply his knowledge of the Act to further explore how it can be used to better regulate air pollution emitted by large stationary sources, such as refineries and manufacturing plants.

More specifically, Brenner will assess cost-effective technologies, policies and regulatory approaches that can be used, in conjunction with the Clean Air Act, to meet air quality goals for multiple pollutants and sources.

"Not only has the Clean Air Act provided the nation with extraordinary public heath benefits, it has also made the U.S. a global leader in the development of new pollution control technologies and processes," said Brenner, who will be based in the Institute's Washington, D.C., office. "This Nicholas Institute project is designed to accelerate the development of technologies needed to meet America's clean air, clean energy and climate goals."

Brenner served the EPA 32 years before retiring in August from his role as Director of the Office of Policy Analysis and Review at the Office of Air and Radiation, where he was focused on finding innovative, cost-effective ways to implement the Act—particularly through the use of market-based approaches such as emissions trading and other economic incentives.

Earlier on in his career with the EPA, he played a key role in the development, Congressional passage and implementation of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990.

"With the dormancy of federal legislative efforts, Clean Air Act implementation has reemerged in our conversation about climate and air policy," said Tim Profeta, director of the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. "The statute is a tool that could drive the cleaning of our air and the adoption of cleaner technologies, but also has the potential to impose cost on regulated entities inefficiently. We at Duke hope to design new ways to use the Act's potential, and Rob will be the ideal leader of that work."

Brenner holds a bachelor's degree and master's degree in economics and public policy from Princeton University.