DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp leaving for EPA role

Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp is stepping down to take a job at the U.S. EPA, Gov. Scott Walker announced today.

Stepp will be the deputy administrator for Region 7, which includes Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska along with nine tribal nations. Her last day at the DNR is Wednesday, according to a spokesman.

In a statement, Stepp, who’s served as DNR secretary since 2011, said the agency under her leadership “demonstrated how we can have job creation and environmental protection.”

“I’m excited and humbled at the opportunity to bring many of the reforms we’ve implemented in DNR to the national scene,” she said.

Meanwhile, Walker appointed DNR Deputy Secretary Kurt Thiede to serve as interim secretary starting Thursday. Thiede started at the DNR in 1999, and was appointed as deputy secretary in 2015, according to his agency bio.

Stepp last year campaigned for then-presidential candidate Donald Trump at two political rallies in Wisconsin. She also previously served one term in the state Senate, and was appointed to the Natural Resources Board in 1998 by then-Gov. Tommy Thompson.

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