LANCASTER – The governing board of the Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District has appointed Bret Banks Air Pollution Control Officer (APCO) of the local regulatory air agency.
Banks — who will also serve as the AVAQMD’s executive director — will report directly to the governing board beginning Jan. 1, 2016.
Banks will be responsible for enforcing the district’s rules and regulations, enforcing the California Health and Safety Code, managing the district’s portion of state grant programs and running the district’s day-to-day operations.
His appointment was approved under the terms of an agreement with the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District to provide administrative and operations services to the AVAQMD.
The AVAQMD has contracted for services with the Victorville-based air district since its 1997 inception. Prior to the latest agreement – which was approved during Tuesday’s monthly board meeting and extends through June 30, 2021 – the MDAQMD’s air pollution control officer, Eldon Heaston, doubled as chief of the AVAQMD.
“Bret’s appointment as APCO insures optimum local control of the Antelope Valley’s air quality issues. His extensive experience interfacing with regulated industry and his passion for the local community will serve him well at the district’s helm,” Heaston stated.
Banks, who currently serves as the Deputy Director of Antelope Valley Operations, began his career with the AVAQMD in 2000 as Operations Manager. Prior to that, Banks worked as an environmental control specialist and supervisor for Lockheed Martin Skunkworks in Palmdale for more than 10 years. Banks was also previously employed as a technical specialist by Dionex Corporation and as an analytical chemist by Hewlett Packard Corporation.
Banks holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Microbiology from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo and has completed coursework in Environmental Sciences from California State University, Northridge. He has lived in the Antelope Valley for more than 30 years with his wife Suzanne.
Prior to joining the AVAQMD, Banks chaired the Antelope Valley Board of Trade’s Air Quality Task Force, which was formed in 1991 to explore the feasibility of separating the Antelope Valley from the highly regulated South Coast AQMD. Banks also served on the AVAQMD’s Hearing Board, which makes determinations on permit appeals and variance petitions from local businesses, between 1997 and 1999.
[Information via news release from the Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District.]