The Duluth Seaway Port Authority has selected a new director of government and environmental affairs. Jeff Stollenwerk joins the leadership team effective Wednesday.
An experienced water quality professional, he brings over 28 years of environmental and legislative expertise to the position, including development and implementation of regulatory policy on navigational dredge material reuse and mitigating environmental risks from maritime vessel discharges. Having managed water quality programs for industrial sectors throughout Minnesota for the state's Pollution Control Agency, he developed relationships with representatives at all levels of government — federal, tribal, state and local units.
In making the announcement, Port Authority Executive Director Deb DeLuca highlighted Stollenwerk’s public policy expertise, particularly regarding water quality regulation at federal and state levels.
“The maritime industry and this Port Authority must continue to navigate complex environmental and political landscapes,” she said. “Jeff brings a specialized skill set to our team at a time when our industrial redevelopment efforts are ramping up and maritime trade is addressing challenges on several fronts. His ability to negotiate and reach practical, effective solutions to complex issues has been a hallmark of his professional career.”
While at the MPCA, Stollenwerk directed regulatory permitting, compliance and enforcement for pollution control programs for a diverse mix of Minnesota industries. He also provided direction for negotiations on complex permitting projects and regulatory controls across multiple environmental sectors including water quality, solid waste, hazardous waste and petroleum storage. A leader in the Great Lakes Ballast Water Collaborative, he was the governor’s appointee to the Great Ships Initiative Advisory Committee (now the Great Waters Research Collaborative Advisory Committee). He has testified and provided written input to legislative committees for ballast water regulations, regulatory certainty, permit timeliness and water transfers. He also has served as primary communications contact for vessel discharges and other environmental issues.
“My experiences with the Port Authority and others in the maritime industry have been most rewarding,” said Stollenwerk. “It is a privilege to work with ethical, professional leaders dedicated to environmental protection—to be part of a team promoting sustainable industrial growth that supports the economies of Duluth and Northeastern Minnesota.”
He succeeds DeLuca, who was appointed executive director of the organization in August 2018. A graduate of Bemidji State University, Stollenwerk has degrees in chemistry and aquatic biology.