Elizabeth Biser is one step away from removing “acting” from her title. Gov. Roy Cooper’s state Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Secretary received the backing of two key state Senate committees last week, with a final confirmation vote by the full Senate expected Tuesday, August 24.
In her hearing before the Senate Agriculture, Energy, and Environment Committee last Tuesday, Biser deftly answered senators’ questions. She emphasized DEQ would review natural gas permit applications according to the state’s laws and regulations. Some combination of her diplomatic skills, experience in the department, and relationships with legislators satisfied senators who had objected to Gov. Cooper’s previous DEQ nominee, Dionne Delli-Gatti. Biser received that committee’s unanimous support of both that committee and, the following day, the Senate Committee on Nominations.
Cooper appointed Biser to lead DEQ on June 24, and she was sworn in to the position on July 1, pending Senate confirmation. In addition to helping lead successful lobbying efforts to increase state funding for parks and natural resources for the state Sierra Club, Environmental Defense Fund, Friends of State Parks, and other organizations, Biser served as the Director of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs for DEQ’s predecessor agency and the vice president of The Recycling Partnership.