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Indiana Department of Environmental Management

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Indiana Department of Environmental Management

IDEM > About > About IDEM's Commissioner > Commissioner Speeches, Articles, and Reports Commissioner Speeches, Articles, and Reports

Commissioner Carol S. Comer

2015 - Present

Carol S. Comer has extensive experience with environmental issues in government and business. She was appointed Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management by Governor Mike Pence in 2015.

Comer has served both as IDEM’s General Counsel, where she oversaw approximately thirty attorneys and support staff, and as IDEM’s Chief of Staff. Prior to that, Carol served as a senior administrative law judge for the Indiana Board of Tax Review and as an Administrative Law Judge with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission.

She received her undergraduate degree from Indiana University School of Business and a joint master’s and law degree from Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs and Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, where she was the law school’s first Environmental Law Fellow.

Comer has nearly a decade in private practice, beginning her career at Plews and Shadley in Indianapolis and later at Lewis and Roca in Phoenix, Arizona, representing companies on environmental and utility matters, including insurance recovery, real estate and corporate environmental due diligence, cost recovery for cleanup sites, solid waste, air and water permit appeals, hard rock mineral mining, underground storage tank upgrades and removal, cleanup oversight, and defense against agency actions.

She is a 2013 graduate of the Richard G. Lugar Excellence in Public Service Series and currently serves on the organization’s Board of Directors. She also volunteers and serves on the Board of Directors for God’s Bounty Food Pantry. In addition, she assisted the Indiana Pro Bono Commission with the founding of Indiana Operation Enduring LAMP and represented soldiers with legal claims.

Presentations:

2016
2015

Commissioner Thomas Easterly:

2005 - 2015

Thomas Easterly

Tom Easterly has worked on environmental issues in both government and business for nearly 40 years. He was appointed Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management by Governor Mitch Daniels in 2005 and reappointed by Governor Mike Pence in 2013.

After obtaining his MS in Urban-Environmental Studies from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, New York, Tom joined the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation where he held various engineering positions in the Air and Solid and Hazardous Waste Divisions. Tom then joined Bethlehem Steel Corporation as their corporate air pollution expert. Tom later was promoted to Superintendent of Environmental Services for Bethlehem Steel’s Burns Harbor Division in Northwest Indiana. As Bethlehem was approaching bankruptcy, Tom joined NiSource (a utility holding company) as Manager, Environmental Planning & Improvement and later served as President of Environmental Business Strategies, Inc., an environmental consulting firm he started in 2002.

He is a past chairman of the Air and Waste Management Association’s Iron and Steel Committee and a past President of the Board of Directors of the Indiana Dunes Environmental Learning Center. Tom has earned the designations of: Board Certified Environmental Engineer (BCEE) from the American Academy of Environmental Engineering; Qualified Environmental Professional (QEP) from the Institute of Professional Environmental Practice; and Professional Engineer from the states of Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania and New York.

Tom walked to work from his downtown Indianapolis home to avoid contributing unnecessary emissions into the atmosphere.

Presentations:

2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005
  • December 16, 2005: Summary of the IDEM Task Team Report of the Government Efficiency Commission - Indiana Manufacturer's Association/Indiana Chamber of Commerce [PPT] - Indianapolis, IN
  • December 8, 2005: Summary of the IDEM Task Team Report of the Government Efficiency Commission - Air & Waste Management Association [PPT] - Indianapolis, IN
  • December 8, 2005: 14th Annual Legislative Conference - Indianapolis, IN (No Presentation)
  • November 30, 2005: IDEM Update - Evansville Chamber of Commerce [PPT] - Evansville, IN
  • November 16, 2005: Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce - Fort Wayne, IN (No Presentation)
  • November 7, 2005: Indiana Regional Sewer District Association (IRSDA) - Carmel, IN (No Presentation)
  • October 19, 2005: Indiana Chamber of Commerce Annual Conference - Indianapolis, IN (No Presentation)
  • October 11, 2005: Association of Indiana Solid Waste Management Districts (AISWMD) Conference - Indianapolis, IN (No Presentation)
  • September 27, 2005: Indiana Association of Cities and Towns (IACT) - Indianapolis, IN (No Presentation)
  • September 26, 2005: Indiana Environmental Health Association (IEHA) - Elizabeth, IN (No Presentation)
  • September 22, 2005, 2005: IDEM Update - Partners for Pollution Prevention [PPT] - Indianapolis, IN
  • September 19, 2005: Upper White River Watershed Alliance - Indianapolis, IN (No Presentation)
  • September 15, 2005: American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Environmental Business Conference [PPT] - Indianapolis, IN
  • September 15, 2005: Indiana Water Environment Association (IWEA) - Indianapolis, IN (No Presentation)
  • September 13, 2005: Environmental Quality Service Council (EQSC) - Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (2) - Indianapolis, IN (No Presentation)
  • September 1, 2005: Iroquois Bio-Energy Company (IBEC) Groundbreaking Ceremony - Rensselaer, IN (No Presentation)
  • July 27, 2005: IDEM Myths - Indiana Water Environmental Association (IWEA) [PPT] - Indianapolis, IN
  • July 19, 2005: Environmental Quality Service Council (EQSC) - Indianapolis, IN (No Presentation)
  • June 14, 2005: Risk Coordinators - Indianapolis, IN (No Presentation)
  • July 7, 2005: Indiana Agriculture Leadership - Indianapolis, IN (No Presentation)
  • June 10, 2005: Indiana Mayors Roundtable - Columbus, IN (No Presentation)
  • June 2, 2005: Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce - Terre Haute, IN (No Presentation)
  • May 9, 2005: Environmental Management Association (EMA) - Elkhart, IN (No Presentation)
  • May 5, 2005: Indiana Manufacturers Association (IMA), Environmental Forum - Indianapolis, IN (No Presentation)
  • April 26, 2005: Indiana Petroleum Council Midwestern - Indianapolis, IN (No Presentation)
  • April 21, 2005: Indiana Industrial Operators Association (IIOA) - Indianapolis, IN (No Presentation)
  • April 21, 2005: Central Indiana Technical & Environmental Societies (CITES) - Indianapolis, IN (No Presentation)
  • April 19, 2005: Indiana Rural Water Association (IRWA) - Columbus, IN (No Presentation)
  • April 14, 2005: Indianapolis Bar Association - Indianapolis, IN (No Presentation)
  • April 8, 2005: IDEM/Farm Bureau Agricultural Breakfast - Indianapolis, IN (No Presentation)
  • March 30 & 31, 2005: Business and Industry’s Environmental Health & Safety Symposium - Cincinnati, OH (No Presentation)
  • March 18, 2005: Farm Bureau Commodity Advisory - Indianapolis, IN (No Presentation)
  • March 17, 2005: Farm Bureau Board - Indianapolis, IN (No Presentation)
  • March 17, 2005: American Council of Engineering Companies Environmental Commission (ACEC) - Indianapolis, IN (No Presentation)
  • March 16, 2005: Air & Waste Management Association (AWMA) - Indianapolis, IN (No Presentation)
  • March 16, 2005: Partners for Pollution Prevention - Indianapolis, IN (No Presentation)
  • March 11, 2005: Goshen Rotary - Goshen, IN (No Presentation)
  • March 10, 2005: Indiana Manufacturers Association (IMA), Indiana Chamber - Indianapolis, IN (No Presentation)
  • March 3, 2005, 2005: IDEM's Transition [PPT] - Indianapolis, IN
  • March 3, 2005, 2005: Summary of the IDEM Task Team Report of the Government Efficiency Commission [PPT] - Indianapolis, IN
  • February 24, 2005: American Water Works Association (AWWA) - Indianapolis, IN (No Presentation)
  • February 21, 2005: Indiana Water Utilities Council - Indianapolis, IN (No Presentation)
  • February 18, 2005: Indiana Manufacturers Association (IMA) Environmental Chairs - Indianapolis, IN (No Presentation)
  • February 15, 2005: Evansville Chamber of Commerce - Indianapolis, IN (No Presentation)
  • February 10, 2005: Indiana Chamber - Indianapolis, IN (No Presentation)
  • February 9, 2005: Indiana Pork Producers Association - Zionsville, IN (No Presentation)
  • February 8, 2005: Indiana Cast Metals Association (INCMA) - Indianapolis, IN (No Presentation)
  • January 28, 2005: St. Joseph Valley Green, Sierra Club, Audubon Society - South Bend, IN (No Presentation)
  • January 27, 2005: Northwest Indiana Environmental Group - Merrillville, IN (No Presentation)
  • January 27, 2005: Northwest Indiana Forum - Merrillville, IN (No Presentation)
  • January 25, 2005: Indiana Pork Producers Association Annual Meeting - Indianapolis, IN (No Presentation)

Commissioner Lori Kaplan

1999 - 2005

Lori F. Kaplan served as commissioner of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management from 1999 to 2005 after being appointed by Governor Frank O'Bannon.

In her capacity as commissioner, Ms. Kaplan served on numerous boards and commissions, including the Indiana Environmental Quality Service Council, the Indiana Counter-Terrorism and Security Council, the Indiana Natural Resources Commission, the Great Lakes Commission, and the Environmental Council of States. She also served on the Executive Council of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council.

Prior to her position at IDEM, Ms. Kaplan was chief legal counsel for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) from 1993 to 1996, and deputy director of DNR’s Bureau of Water and Resource Regulation from 1997 to 1999. Before joining state government, she practiced law in Indianapolis. Ms. Kaplan earned her law degree from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law and her undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois.

2003
2002
2001
2000
1999

Commissioner John Hamilton

1997 - 1999

John Hamilton served as commissioner of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management from 1997 to 1999 after being appointed by Governor Frank O’Bannon. Prior to that he served on then-Lt. Governor O’Bannon’s staff as an executive assistant, legal counsel and chief of staff. A Bloomington, Indiana native, Mr. Hamilton graduated from Harvard College and the Indiana University Maurer School of Law.

Commissioner Michael O'Connor

1996 - 1997

Michael O’Connor served as commissioner of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management from 1996 to 1997 after Governor Evan Bayh appointed him to succeed outgoing IDEM Commissioner Kathy Prosser. He previously served as deputy commissioner for public policy and planning at IDEM from 1993 to 1996. A Greenfield, Indiana native, Mr. O’Connor graduated from Indiana University, Bloomington, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science.

Commissioner Kathy Prosser

1989 - 1996

Kathy Prosser graduated from a Canton, Ohio, vocational high school and started out as a secretary at the Ohio Natural Resources Department. She joined former astronaut John Glenn’s staff after he was elected to the U.S. Senate. Ms. Prosser worked her way up to serve as John Glenn's administrative assistant, and that got her admitted to Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government even though she'd never finished college. After earning a master's degree, she stayed in Boston as Massachusetts' assistant environmental commissioner until Indiana Governor Evan Bayh appointed her commissioner of IDEM in 1989. She directed IDEM’s growth from a fledgling body into a sound regulatory agency with clear goals and the common-sense means to get the job done. In 1993, Ms. Prosser and like-minded state commissioners founded the Environmental Council of the States to make the case for entrusting state governments with the authority to implement more flexible national environmental rules. Elected the first ECOS president, Ms. Prosser assigned a key staff member to nurture the organization through its first year and pushed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to forge more equal partnerships with state pollution control agencies. Ms. Prosser left her post as IDEM’s commissioner in July 1996, the same year Governing Magazine named her one of its ten “Public Officials of the Year.” Ms. Prosser left Indiana in 1996 to direct the U.S. office of the International Joint Commission that deals with environmental issues along the Canadian border.

Commissioner Nancy Maloley

1985 - 1989

Nancy Maloley, a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana, and graduate of the University of Colorado, served as the Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s first commissioner when the Indiana General Assembly created the agency in 1985 and it came into existence on April 1, 1986. Her duties included directing and enforcing air and water pollution control and hazardous and solid waste management. Prior to her position at IDEM, Ms. Maloley served as a senior staff member in the Office of Policy Development for President Ronald Reagan before he appointed her in 1982 to the three-member Council on Environmental Quality. During her two years on the council, she helped shape policy on acid rain. Ms. Maloley later served as special assistant for environmental affairs for President George H.W. Bush.