Gov. Susana Martinez announced late today New Mexico Environment Department Secretary Ryan Flynn would step down effective Aug. 12.
Flynn served as Cabinet Secretary since 2013 and as Environment’s General Counsel from 2011 to 2013. Butch Tongate, Deputy Cabinet Secretary, will serve as acting Cabinet Secretary.
“Secretary Flynn has put his heart and soul into protecting our environment and always put New Mexicans first,” Martinez said in a press release sent late Friday.
Martinez is credited with spearheading a number of settlements while secretary of NMED, including negotiating an agreement with Los Alamos National Laboratory for the cleanup of legacy waste from the Manhattan Project and Cold War Era.
Martinez also commended Flynn for his leadership in negotiating the settlement between the state and the Department of Energy during the Gold King Mine spill and taking action on the Kirtland Air Force base spill.
Flynn also lead the state through the radiation leak at the Department of Energy’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad. Flynn negotiated the largest settlement in the history of the United States between the Department of Energy and any state for the accidental release of radiation — a total of $74 million, Martinez said.