Tribal Government & News

Oregon Senate appoints George to Environmental Quality Commission

SALEM – The Oregon Senate voted 24-5 to appoint Grand Ronde Tribal Council member Kathleen George as one of three new members of the Oregon Environmental Quality Commission on Tuesday, May 2.

George was nominated to the commission by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown in March to replace three members who were fired.

The commission is a five-member panel appointed by the governor to four-year terms. Members serve as the state Department of Environmental Quality’s policy and rulemaking board. It also issues orders, judges appeals of fines or other departmental actions, and appoints the department’s director.

George will join the commission along with fifth-generation Oregonian Wade Mosby, who was approved 19-10, and Oregon State University associate professor Molly Kile, who was approved 16-13. Current commission members Sam Baraso and Ed Armstrong will continue serving.

The former board members said they were fired over their choice to lead the Department of Environmental Quality. However, Brown said the decision was not related to that choice, but that new leadership was necessary to execute her vision for the department, which includes new air quality rules.

Brown is tasking the Environmental Quality Commission with new rules under Cleaner Air Oregon, a change to the state’s air quality rules announced in the wake of news about toxic emissions in Portland.

George was elected to Tribal Council in September 2016. Before her election, she was director of Spirit Mountain Community Fund, the Tribe’s philanthropic arm, from September 2011 through her election to council.

She also worked for the Tribe’s Natural Resources Department as its environmental coordinator from 1996 to 2002 before moving to eastern Oregon to work for the Umatilla Tribe as a water policy and senior policy analyst. She also worked for the Department of Environmental Quality in Pendleton and owned a natural resources consulting business, Cedar Consulting.

George graduated from Dominican University in California with a bachelor’s degree in environmental biology.


Includes information from Oregon Public Broadcasting.