Gov. Peter Shumlin today announced that Chair of the Natural Resources Board (NRB) Ron Shems has decided to step down after four years on the Board. He will be replaced Jon Groveman, currently the general counsel for the Agency of Natural Resources (ANR).
“I want to thank Ron for his hard work over the past four years,” Gov. Shumlin said. “He always sought to ensure that development in Vermont happened in a way consistent with our values. I wish him all the best.”
The NRB administers Act 250, Vermont’s land use law. During his time as Chair, Shems helped modernize Act 250 to achieve greater equity in transportation mitigation, promote better transportation options including pedestrian, bike and transit, promote and simplify permitting for industrial parks, strengthen designated centers and downtowns, better manage primary agricultural soil mitigation, and limit strip development. Shems also instituted better management and communication within the NRB and with agency partners.
“Act 250 is Vermont’s premier environmental statute,” Shems said. “It safeguards Vermont’s quality of life, environment and brand. I thank Governor Shumlin for the privilege of overseeing act 250 and allowing me to make Vermont an even better place to live and work.”
Replacing Shems will be Jon Groveman, who has a long career protecting Vermont’s natural resources. Before joining ANR, where has served as General Counsel for the past four years, Groveman served as General Counsel for the Vermont Natural Resources Council for over seven years. Jon has also served as the Executive Director of the Vermont Water Resources Board, the Director of the Law Center for the Vermont League of Cities and Towns and as the Act 250 Land Use Attorney with ANR in the 1990s.
“We’re fortunate to have someone like Jon stepping in to this role,” the Governor said. “His long history of working to protect Vermont’s special way of life will serve the state as he takes on this new role.”
“I am honored and grateful for the opportunity to lead a program that is vital to protecting what is so special about Vermont, our vibrant village and city centers, farms and forests, and to move the Act 250 program forward as Vermont faces new opportunities and challenges as we continue grow our economy,” Groveman said.