by Terence Baker | August 01, 2006

Lia Parisien

"States currently perform the vast majority of environmental protection tasks..."

Lia Parisien is senior project manager, editor/planner, at the Washington, D.C.-based Environmental Council of the States (www.ecos.org), a national nonprofit, nonpartisan association that was begun in 1993 with 20 states as members; today, membership is up to 49 states, in addition to Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.

What kind of events do you plan for ECOS? I handle agenda-setting and logistics for the two annual ECOS membership meetings. Plus, I’m media liaison and chief editor of our quarterly magazine and weekly newsletter.

How do you balance planning and editing? Both come naturally to me, as I am the daughter of two journalists, and my divorced, working mom needed lots of help in the organization department, so I spent my childhood honing my “planning” skills.

What is your take on state environmental efforts? States currently perform the vast majority of environmental protection tasks in the United States, including 90 percent or more of enforcement actions and 97 percent of environmental inspections. State environmental agencies are widely viewed as laboratories of innovation and are frequently looked to for creative solutions. Unfortunately, they have experienced steep reductions in federal funding recently, but we are working hard to reverse this trend.

What policy initiative is ECOS working on right now? One notable effort now is the Quicksilver Caucus, which aims to reduce the presence of the neurotoxin mercury in the environment.