Lono Tyson Named New Director of the County Department of Environmental Management

Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi has named Lono Tyson as the new director of the county Department of Environmental Management effective January 2, 2009.

The appointment fills another key slot in the mayor’s cabinet. Kenoi was sworn in as mayor on Dec. 1.

Tyson, 44, was solid waste division chief for the county’s Department of Environmental Management from 2003 to 2005 before leaving to live in Australia with his wife and family. Since leaving the Big Island, he has been employed as principal engineer for the international professional services company GHD based in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Tyson has more than 15 years of experience in waste management including planning, engineering, design, permitting, construction, operation and maintenance of solid waste, wastewater, and other civil engineering projects.

“I am honored that we were able to get someone of Mr. Tyson’s experience, education and background to serve in this position,” Kenoi said. “He has experience both in government and outside of government.”

“As a Native Hawaiian engineer, I think he can serve as a very good role model to a lot of our students and future leaders here in the County of Hawaii, demonstrating that they too can be engineers and leaders in county government,” Kenoi said.

Tyson has more than a decade of private sector experience, and served as landfill engineer for the Salinas Valley Solid Waste Authority, and as waste management engineer for the state of California’s Environmental Protection Agency.

Most recently in his work for GHD, he served as procurement manager for the construction of a waste reduction technology facility in south Sydney. He was also technical advisor for the construction, expansion and rehabilitation of landfills, as well as the design, construction, and operation of waste transfer stations and recycling centers throughout Australia and Chile.

Tyson was born and raised in Arcadia, Calif., and has a bachelor of science degree in engineering technology (construction) from California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, Calif.

“Just over five years ago I came to the Big Island to gain insight into my Hawaiian roots and to share my experiences with those who were interested in preserving the aina,” Tyson said. “I see this as an opportunity to complete unfinished business and to share my love of the islands and its people with my family. I look forward to assisting the County in developing and implementing sustainable solutions for managing our solid waste and wastewater. It is my hope that we all work together to remove the barriers that divide us as Hawaiians and prevent us from moving forward together towards our shared goal of preserving this beautiful gift called Hawai’i.”

The Department of Environmental Management is responsible for all matters relating to sewer operation and maintenance of five sewer systems as well as solid waste disposal and landfill programs, vehicle disposal, and all other environmental projects including county recycling programs. The department also provides key support during Civil Defense emergencies

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