OSPR welcomes new TAC members Governor & Senate Rules Committee adds 8 to 14-member panel

Eight new committee members appointed to the Technical Advisory Committee represent environmental non-governmental organizations, the petroleum industry, the railroad industry, the marine transportation industry and local government as outlined in the TAC bylaws.

“I am very pleased to welcome these newest TAC members as we fully implement the inland oil spill response program while continuing to improve our legacy marine response program,” OSPR  Administrator Tom Cullen said. “The TAC has had several vacancies these past several years and these newest members will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the committee.”

The new appointments include:
Sejal Choksi-Chugh of Oakland is the executive director at San Francisco Baykeeper. She is one of the TAC environment/ecosystems representatives appointed by the Senate Rules Committee in January.

Jenna Driscoll of Santa Barbara is a watershed and marine program associate with Santa Barbara Channelkeeper. She is one of the TAC environment/ ecosystems representatives appointed by the Senate Rules Committee in January.

Joseph Cobb of Bakersfield is a spill and emergency response coordinator at Aera Energy, LLC. He is the TAC petroleum industry representative appointed by the Governor’s office in February.

James Farner of San Dimas is the manager of hazardous materials at BNSF Railway. He is the TAC railroad industry representative appointed by the Governor’s office in February.

Lynn Korwatch of Alamo is the executive director at the Marine Exchange of the San Francisco Bay Region. She is the TAC marine transportation representative appointed by the Governor’s office in February.

Janell Myhre of San Francisco is the regional program manager at the Bay Area Urban Areas Security Initiative. She is TAC local government representative appointed by the Governor’s office in February.

Dr. Uta Passow of Camarillo is Research Oceanographer, Marine Science Institute at the University of California Santa Barbara. She is one of the TAC’s environmental representatives appointed by Speaker of the Assembly in April.

Tracy Van Houten of Pasadena is a Systems Engineer at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She is one of the TAC’s environmental representatives appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly in April.

The new appointees join TAC chairperson Stephen Ricks, TAC Vice Chair John Berg and Matt Rezvani.

The Lempert-Keene-Seastrand Oil Spill Prevention and Response Act  (Act) established the TAC to provide public input and independent judgment of the actions of the OSPR administrator.

Of the 14 member TAC, the governor appoints eight of the members, and the Speaker of the Assembly and the Senate Committee on Rules each make three member appointments.