Search begins for new chair of Environment Agency

The search to replace Lord de Ramsey, chair of the Environment Agency, has begun. De Ramsey, who announced in May that he will retire at the beginning of 2000, has been unpopular with environmentalists.

De Ramsey’s failure to put green principles into practice included reports that he gave:

  • permission to allow houses to be built on greenfield land he owns
  • permission to allow genetically-modified sugar beet to be grown on land he owns
  • instruction to his chauffeur to make a 100-mile trip to drive him from King’s Cross Station to the Environment Agency’s offices in Westminster, a distance of 2.7 miles.

Environmental groups, including Friends of the Earth, called for De Ramsey’s resignation several times in 1998.

Michael Meacher, UK Minister for the Environment, announced that PricewaterhouseCoopers will recruit the next chair of the EA. The deadline for applicants is 31 August.

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