Friday, August 29, 2014

John C. Evans named General Counsel for the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources


RALEIGH – N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary John E. Skvarla announced today he has named John Evans as general counsel for the state environmental agency. Evans, a 20-year state employee, will succeed Lacy Presnell, who will continue to work in the general counsel’s office during a transition period.
“I can’t thank Lacy enough for what he has done for me, for the department, and for the people of North Carolina,” Skvarla said. “He has been one of my closest advisors and a good friend as well. I am thankful he has agreed to stay on for a few months during this transition.”
Skvarla named Presnell as his first general counsel in January 2013. Prior to his work for DENR, Presnell was an attorney in private practice in Raleigh, including with the firm of Burns, Day & Presnell.
Evans has been with DENR since 2008. He served as a supervisor of senior environmental engineers responsible for the implementation of major air quality permitting programs in the Division of Air Quality. Previously he was an assistant attorney general in the N.C. Department of Justice from 2004 to 2007, and has worked as an engineer in the private sector.
“John has impressed me with his knowledge of environmental law and his strategic insight,” Skvarla said. “These qualities and a tireless work ethic will serve the department well as we continue our mission to protect the environment for all North Carolinians.”
Evans has published numerous papers on environmental topics. He was honored in 2013 by the UNC Chapel Hill School of Law’s Center for Law, Environment, Adaptation, and Resources (CLEAR) for his contributions to protecting North Carolinians’ right to clean and healthful air.
As general counsel, Evans will be the first point of contact in litigation, acting as the service agent for all contested cases, tort claims and other lawsuits involving the department. He will supervise the rulemaking coordination process and provide advice on various issues such as new policy initiatives, legislation, contracts, conflicts of interest, and dispute resolution.
Evans is an honors graduate of the North Carolina Central University School of Law and earned a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

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