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Maryland State Government Maryland Department of the Environment

Spotlight on Staff: Brian Hug, Employee of the Year

MDE Secretary Shari Wilson with Brian Hug
at the 2009 MDE Annual Employee Awards
Sec. Wilson & Brian Hug

Brian Hug is the Deputy Program Manager for the Air Quality Planning Program. He has worked for the Maryland Department of the Environment for nine years. Brian is MDE’s Employee of the Year for 2009. He was recognized for his outstanding effort to improve air quality, including efforts to address climate change in Maryland.

Brian grew up in Long Island, New York. As a child, he loved being outside. This passion followed him all the way to Binghamton University, where he received a degree in Environmental Planning. Though he originally intended to study economics, a class in geology changed his mind. “Some people like math,” he stated simply, “I like the environment.” After college Brian moved to Maryland, where he worked as an environmental consultant for five years. He then came to MDE as an environmental specialist and advanced to his current position.

His most recent achievement as “Employee of the Year” is certainly a notable one: “The employee of the year is recognized for going above and beyond the call of duty to serve Maryland and ensure that public health and the environment is protected,” said MDE Secretary Shari T. Wilson. “As lead staffer working with the Maryland Commission on Climate Change, Brian was instrumental in helping the Commission complete the very complex Maryland Climate Action Plan in a short time.”

The Climate Action Plan addresses the drivers of climate change, explores its likely impacts in Maryland, and establishes goals and timetables for implementation. The Commission emphasized Maryland’s particular vulnerability to the impacts of sea level rise, increased storm intensity, extreme droughts and heat waves, and increased wind and rainfall events. Brian drafted portions of the Climate Action Plan and led the development of a greenhouse gas emissions inventory. The report concludes that Maryland would see significant economic and environmental benefits from taking early, immediate actions to reduce global warming pollution and that the goals proposed by the Commission are achievable and would help spur innovation in the State. Preliminary analysis in the Climate Action Report indicates that, by 2020, implementation of these forty-two strategies could result in a net economic benefit to the state of approximately $2 billion dollars.

At MDE, Brian is also responsible for the timely development of clean air plans for the Washington, Baltimore, and Hagerstown areas. These plans outline Maryland's regulations and programs that will enable Maryland to meet federal air quality standards.  This work requires a unique combination of technical expertise, in-depth understanding of policy, and the ability to strategically coordinate complex regulatory efforts.

Brian’s work within the Air Quality Planning Program will benefit not only all of Maryland’s current residents, but also future generations. Along with many environmental advocates, Brian believes there is still much work to be done toward improving air quality: “Addressing climate change and air quality requires a team effort,” said Brian. “I am proud to be part of this project, making Maryland a leader in addressing climate change and protecting our air quality.”

Brian lives in Perry Hall with his family.

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