Bill Hose Puts His Feet Up, Sort Of
Thursday, January 05, 2023 10:18 AM

Bill Hose, sat outside his home near Vero Beach, Florida, and said the weather was beautiful. Outside in New Jersey, it wasn’t.

Assistant Executive Director of the LSRPA since 2019, Hose has lived in Florida since 2021. And on December 31, 2022, he stepped down from the LSRPA. Dave Sweeney, formerly of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), is LSRPA's new Assistant Executive Director.

While giving up his title, Hose will still be around. “Yes, I am leaving. I’m not disappearing from the face of the Earth,” Hose said.

Special projects for the LSRPA may be part of his future, but stepping back will allow him to travel more and see his grandchildren. He and his wife  are planning another riverboat cruise, this time on the Danube River. Their last river cruise, which was this past fall, was postponed nearly two years by COVID-19 restrictions.

When Hose joined the LSRPA, he had spent more than 25 years at the NJDEP, and before retiring had risen to the position of Assistant Director. He said he was looking to stay involved and had been talking with Caryn Barnes, the LSRPA President at that time.

“Bill brought a perfect combination of practical experience, regulatory know-how, and common sense to the LSRPA,” said Barnes.  “He was exceptionally helpful to the LSRPs as a regulator, and he believed the LSRP program could help advance sites more rapidly to closure while protecting human health and the environment. We knew he’d bring that cooperative approach to the organization.”   

LSRPA Executive Director Sue Boyle, at that point, was the only contracted executive. With the assistance of an off-site clerical assistant, she was also overseeing a handful of other Association contractors for specific duties like web design and maintenance and event planning. Boyle also managed the volunteers of the Association.

The Board of Trustees created the position of Assistant Executive Director for Hose to provide more resources for the increasing needs of the Association.   

“Bill Hose was a blessing to me and to the Board of Trustees” said Boyle. “Bill was a polite but persistent voice of reason and at times, devil’s advocate, to assure that our Board’s discussions considered all options. He also upped the LSRPA’s game in terms of interactions with NJDEP. He had more recent insight of the NJDEP than I did and he had the time and expertise to prepare correspondence, meeting agendas, and meeting notes to assure that the LSRPA's interactions with the Department covered the most important topics for our membership.”    

“The Association has benefited tremendously from Bill’s insight, experience, and abilities,” said David Morris, LSRPA President for 2022.  “His direct involvement as a regulator has been such a boon for the Association; his personality and manner have been a pleasure for me to work with.”  

Within a year of Hose coming on board, COVID-19 shut down State government. The LSRPA, along with everyone else, adapted to working from home and offering continuing education courses remotely. A health scare convinced him to reassess his own priorities and now, a few months shy of his 60th birthday, he will retire for the second time.

“Bill was instrumental in implementing several LSRPA policies, including those regarding board nomination processes, chairmanship, oral communications and respectful behavior,” Barnes said. “These policies were needed to set structure as the Association grew in membership, outreach and committees.  He was also successful in gaining NJDEP’s ear on topics that perhaps they weren’t ready to listen to or see a need for. He is a trusted friend, a voice of reason, and a steadying force whom I greatly appreciate, admire and will miss.  I hope we’ll still be able to pull him out of retirement as needed.”      

What is he most proud of at LSRPA? “The biggest thing I tried to do was bridge what I saw as a communications gap between the Department and LSRPs - and the LSRPs and the Department,” Hose said.

Hose liked to take a common sense approach at NJDEP, asking questions of staff who might only be looking at data and challenging them: “Why isn’t this protective?” At LSRPA, he tried to understand the NJDEP perspective, even if he was questioning it.

Hose helped the Association craft an argument to have NJDEP codify a process to allow the LSRPs to apply for general permits for sites with no receptor concerns on an expedited basis. This would allow NJDEP to focus its review efforts primarily on permits at sites with receptors.

The NJDEP statistics show very few RAOs are ever withdrawn and almost none are invalidated by the NJDEP due to protectiveness concerns. The hope is to act upon those statistics and use the LSRP’s certification of a codified process as sufficient for issuance of a general permit. The LSRPA is still awaiting a response from the Department.

Hose said he hopes the LSRPA continues to pursue the issue into 2023. “The RAO protectiveness statistics have to mean something, and the permitting program isn’t sustainable with NJDEP’s increasing review times,” he said.

While reducing his role with LSPRA, Hose said he wants the Association to continue to push the profession.  “We are the trade association. We need to do more advocacy on behalf of our members to ensure that the license means something,” he said.

“The LSRP’s signature alone should be accepted as certification that a project is complete,” he said.

The LSRPA is a work in progress, still growing in membership and as an Association. As it grows, Hose said he sees areas that need to continue to improve. For example, he said, the LSRPA must do more to get useful information out to its membership in a timely manner, including what the Association does to advocate for the profession.

The Association also takes information from a number of sources, including its own board meetings, meetings with DEP officials, communications with other business associations and many environmental and conservation organizations, and information released by the Site Remediation Advisory Group. Hose said the Association needs to find a better way to organize and provide outreach to its members.

Some of Hose’s special projects might include internal communications or creation of special courses to include LSRPs and NJDEP staff learning together and sharing their interpretations of data.  It could be something else. But the LSRPA has the resources, he said.

 “There’s a lot of very talented people who are volunteering their time on behalf of the LSRPA,” Hose said.