Governor Bryant names Rikard to head Department - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Governor Bryant names Rikard to head Department of Environmental Quality

Rikard Gary Rikard Gary
HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

This is a news release from the Department of Environmental Quality 

Gov. Phil Bryant has named Gary Rikard to succeed Trudy Fisher as executive director of the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality. Fisher, who has served as executive director since 2007, has announced her intentions to return to the private sector at the end of the summer.

"Trudy has worked tirelessly in her capacity as executive director, and I thank her for her service. Under her guidance, Mississippi has responded to significant environmental disasters, and she has ensured environmental protection while leading the agency to achieve speed and efficiency in its permitting process—something that sets Mississippi apart among economic competitors."

Rikard, a partner with Butler Snow, LLP, has practiced environmental law since 1996, serving as senior attorney at MDEQ from 1996-1998. Prior to earning his law degree, he worked as an environmental engineer at MDEQ, specializing in permitting and water quality compliance issues. He served more than 22 years in the Mississippi National Guard, retiring with the rank of Major. During his service with the National Guard, he served as assistant staff judge advocate, acting as the primary legal officer for environmental matters. 

"I am very pleased to appoint Gary to lead the Department of Environmental Quality," Gov. Phil Bryant said. "He has the legal and technical expertise to ensure that Mississippi's environmental conservation and economic growth priorities are achieved in concert with one another. He has worked for the agency previously in both a legal and in an engineering capacity, and his experience has prepared him well to take on this leadership position."

Rikard's specialized legal experience includes negotiating complex permitting and enforcement issues before the United States Environmental Protection Agency and representing MDEQ before the Mississippi Supreme Court. He is experienced in a wide array of state and federal environmental standards including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the Mississippi Air and Water Pollution Control Law and the Mississippi Solid Waste Act.

He holds a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from Christian Brothers University, has completed graduate studies in environmental engineering at the University of Mississippi School of Engineering, and holds a juris doctor degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law. He is admitted to the Mississippi Bar and the Tennessee Bar.

"I am grateful for the opportunity to serve in this capacity, and I am humbled by Gov. Bryant's choice and by his faith in me," Rikard said. "I look forward to the challenge and to leading an agency that is tasked with such an important mission." 

  • Local NewsLOCALMore>>

  • Wisconsin family proves it's always a good time to give back

    Wisconsin family proves it's always a good time to give back

    Tuesday, July 17 2018 7:24 PM EDT2018-07-17 23:24:53 GMT
    They are helping R3SM finish a brand new home on Lilac Street in Hattiesburg for a family who lost everything in last year's tornado. (Photo source: WDAM)They are helping R3SM finish a brand new home on Lilac Street in Hattiesburg for a family who lost everything in last year's tornado. (Photo source: WDAM)
    They are helping R3SM finish a brand new home on Lilac Street in Hattiesburg for a family who lost everything in last year's tornado. (Photo source: WDAM)They are helping R3SM finish a brand new home on Lilac Street in Hattiesburg for a family who lost everything in last year's tornado. (Photo source: WDAM)

    The Gartmans' are a family of five from Wisconsin.

    More >>

    The Gartmans' are a family of five from Wisconsin.

    More >>
  • Hub City attorney sentenced for filing false tax return

    Hub City attorney sentenced for filing false tax return

    Tuesday, July 17 2018 7:08 PM EDT2018-07-17 23:08:52 GMT
    Longtime Hattiesburg attorney John Lee Jr. was sentenced Tuesday to six months in jail and a year of probation. (Photo source: Raycom News Network)Longtime Hattiesburg attorney John Lee Jr. was sentenced Tuesday to six months in jail and a year of probation. (Photo source: Raycom News Network)
    A South Mississippi grand jury indicted four Pine Belt residents for their alleged roles in a multi-million dollar scheme. (Photo source: Raycom News Network)A South Mississippi grand jury indicted four Pine Belt residents for their alleged roles in a multi-million dollar scheme. (Photo source: Raycom News Network)

    Longtime Hattiesburg attorney John Lee Jr. was sentenced Tuesday to six months in jail and a year of probation for filing a false statement on an income tax return.

    More >>

    Longtime Hattiesburg attorney John Lee Jr. was sentenced Tuesday to six months in jail and a year of probation for filing a false statement on an income tax return.

    More >>
  • Miss Hospitality contestants visit Forrest General Hospital

    Miss Hospitality contestants visit Forrest General Hospital

    Tuesday, July 17 2018 7:02 PM EDT2018-07-17 23:02:23 GMT
    Miss Hospitality contestants after they arrive at Forrest General. (Photo source: Forrest General)Miss Hospitality contestants after they arrive at Forrest General. (Photo source: Forrest General)

    Young women competing in the 2018 Mississippi Hospitality pageant visited Forrest General Hospital on Tuesday.  The contestants were welcomed by Breanne Gaubert, assistant director of Forrest General Marketing and Communications. Representative Missy McGee of House District 102 gave an encouraging presentation to the group of 32.  “I was chosen by the people of my city to represent them, and so were you," McGee said. "You were chosen to represent your ...

    More >>

    Young women competing in the 2018 Mississippi Hospitality pageant visited Forrest General Hospital on Tuesday.  The contestants were welcomed by Breanne Gaubert, assistant director of Forrest General Marketing and Communications. Representative Missy McGee of House District 102 gave an encouraging presentation to the group of 32.  “I was chosen by the people of my city to represent them, and so were you," McGee said. "You were chosen to represent your ...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly