From Governor's Office: Appointment of Permit Ombudsman
Governor Rell Announces
Appointment of Permit Ombudsman
New Office is Key Part of Governor's Permitting
Reform Agenda to Promote Economic Development
Governor M. Jodi Rell today announced that Connecticut's businesses and developers will soon have another advocate when they need help navigating the regulatory process, thanks to the appointment of Maya Loewenberg as the state's first-ever Permit Ombudsman.
The new office was created earlier this year as part of Public Act 10-158, legislation Governor Rell spearheaded that also streamlines the permitting process for certain economic development projects and refines regulatory requirements and standards.
"For far too long, business leaders have complained that the
state's regulatory process sometimes presents a barrier to economic growth," Governor Rell said. "It is not the idea of sensible protections that frustrate these leaders - it is the red tape and bureaucratic delay. My Administration was determined to do remove these roadblocks, especially as
we work to recover from the most difficult economic challenges in decades.
"The bill I signed into law this year is the result of a working group I convened on the first day of the legislative session," the Governor said. "The Permit Ombudsman is a key part of that effort and will oversee and coordinate our efforts to remove these barriers and treamline the process. Maya Loewenberg is the perfect candidate for that job, with 10 years of experience at the Department of Economic and Community Development in managing people, relationships and projects that involved federal and state environmental, land use and planning components.
"As the lead DECD staff member on the Permitting Task Force,
Maya demonstrated a keen understanding of the issues," Governor Rell said. "Combine that with business expertise honed by her years at DECD and I believe she will serve the people and businesses of Connecticut admirably."
Currently, Loewenberg is with the Office of Responsible
Development within DECD, where she has been leading staff on many large-scale planning, construction and remediation projects since May 2000. She has played a key role in federal and state environmental reviews at DECD and been instrumental in updating current programs, implementing new
programs and advancing sustainable regional development and other economic growth policies.
Loewenberg, of Hamden, graduated from Kishinev Polytechnic
Institute in her native Moldova with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering with an emphasis on Civil Engineering. Her graduate studies were conducted at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, where she earned a Masters of Environmental Studies.
In her new role, Loewenberg will coordinate the permit reviews and approvals of significant projects, working with businesses and the departments of Transportation, Environmental Protection and Public Health. These significant projects will create 100 or more jobs - 50 or more if they are in an Enterprise Zone. Typically, the ombudsman would work on projects that promote the state's responsible growth criteria - including projects classified as brownfield redevelopment, transit oriented development or
promoting green technology.