Ben Grumbles was confirmed as Secretary of the Maryland Department of the Environment by the Maryland State Senate on March 6, 2015. He had been nominated by Governor Larry Hogan in January 2015 to lead MDE. Prior to that, he was President of the U.S. Water Alliance, a Washington-based environmental nonprofit organization that educates the public on the value of water and the need for integrated and innovative solutions. Ben has served as the Presidentially-appointed, Senate-confirmed Assistant Administrator for Water at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as the Senate-confirmed Director of Arizona’s Department of Environmental Quality and as Environmental Counsel and Senior Staff Member on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Science Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives. Ben has broad experience in energy, climate, air, waste and agricultural policy and regulation. He’s a member of the National Academy of Science’s Water Science and Technology Board and a frequent lecturer and analyst on environmental law and policy. He has a master’s degree in environmental law from George Washington University, a J.D. from Emory University School of Law and a bachelor's degree from Wake Forest University. Ben is one of Baltimore's newest residents but he has lived in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, with his wife and children, over the last 30 years.
Horacio Tablada, who is widely known in environmental and government circles as “HT,” was appointed as MDE’s Deputy Secretary in April 2015.
Before his promotion, Deputy Secretary Tablada had headed the agency’s Land Management Administration since 2004. He has nearly three decades of experience as an environmental regulator in Maryland. He joined the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Office of Environmental Programs, a predecessor of MDE, in 1985 as a project engineer. At MDE, he managed programs overseeing industrial wastewater discharges and fuel facilities.
He was promoted in 1998 to Deputy Director of the Land Management Administration (formerly known as the Waste Management Administration). The Land Management Administration’s responsibilities include the oversight of brownfields redevelopment of former industrial sites, recycling and waste diversion, management of solid waste and hazardous waste, large animal feeding operations, fuel facilities, mining and lead paint poisoning prevention.
Deputy Secretary Tablada, a native of Nicaragua, came to the United States in 1975 and earned a degree in biological and agricultural engineering from North Carolina State University. He earned a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Maryland in 2002. Deputy Secretary Tablada is married with three grown children and one granddaughter and lives in Elkridge.