Van Mullem Appointed New District Director 

August 22, 2011

Dave Van Mullem, Director, 805-961-8853
Mary Byrd, Public Information Officer, 805-961-8833

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. –  The Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District announced today that Louis David Van Mullem, Jr. will be the District Director and Air Pollution Control Officer. Van Mullem, appointed by the District Board last Thursday, starts at the agency today. Terry Dressler, the previous Director, retired in late June and returned to serve as Interim Director until the position could be filled.

Said Van Mullem, “I look forward to working with District staff. The great thing about this organization is that there’s a lot of talent here, and a lot of passion. These ingredients are the basis for an outstanding team.”

Van Mullem brings to the District extensive experience with air quality issues and regulations, as well as a rich background in business and environmental management. After graduating from college, Van Mullem was a pilot in the U.S. Air Force, and then was assigned to Vandenberg Air Force Base in 1991 to manage the air quality program. Achieving the rank of Colonel, Van Mullem became Director of Environmental Management at Vandenberg, directing the conservation, planning, compliance, pollution prevention, and restoration programs.

He left Vandenberg in 1998 to lead the Santa Maria office of AECOM, an international consulting firm with expertise in a range of environmental areas, including air quality regulatory analysis and compliance. Van Mullem has also served as an at-large member on the District’s five-member (volunteer) Hearing Board since 2002. The Board hears appeals of District permit decisions, and reviews applications for variances from District regulations and petitions for abatement orders from the District Director.

Van Mullem has a B.S. in Business Statistics from Bowling Green State University in Ohio, an Systems Management from the University of Southern California, and an M.S. in Environmental Management from West Coast University. He lives in Orcutt with his wife, and has family in Goleta and Santa Barbara.

He remarked, “I haven’t worked on the regulatory side before, so I come with a fresh look. I feel the vision and the mission of the District are spot on. The vision is clean air, and the mission is to protect the people and the environment of Santa Barbara County from the harmful effects of air pollution. That defines the agency. How can it be any more clear than that?”

A high-resolution photo of Van Mullem may be downloaded.   Also see newsletter article (PDF).

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