First official from insular areas elected to national environment board recognized

Conchita SN Taitano is shown receiving her plaque of recognition from Senator Régine Biscoe Lee.

Senator Régine Biscoe Lee recently recognized Conchita SN Taitano on her election as vice president of the Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials (ASTSWMO) with a legislative certificate.

Taitano, who was born and raised on Guam, is the first person from the American territories to be elected to the ASTSWMO Board. She is currently serving the nation as vice president of the organization and will assume the office of president of the association in October of this year and serve until 2020.

ASTSWMO is the national organization representing the 50 states, five U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia. Its mission is to enhance and promote effective state and territorial environmental programs and to affect relevant national policies for waste and sustainable materials management, environmentally sustainable practices, and ecological restoration.

The association’s primary function is to enhance state and federal partnerships, promote effective state programs and provide member states with technical assistance and training, while also developing forums for information exchange. These outreach, education, and training efforts allow individual states to build their program capabilities and manage their programs as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Senator Lee said Taitano’s election to vice president comes at a time when issues of the environment, solid waste management, recycling, and zero waste have reached a global tipping point, especially in light of the role that Zero Waste plays in reducing the effects of climate change.

Conchita SN Taitano is the Air and Land Division Administrator with the Guam Environmental Protection Agency (GEPA) and oversees the Air, Hazardous Waste, Pesticides and Solid Waste Programs.

She also serves as president of the Solid Waste Association of North America Pacific Basin Chapter and as a member of Guam’s State Rehabilitation Council.

In addition, she also served as the chairperson and chief organizer of the recently held 30th Pacific Islands Environment Conference. Taitano received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology and Master of Science Degree in Environmental Management from the University of San Francisco in California. She also studied Environment and Sustainable Development at the United Nations University in Tokyo, Japan and Environmental Policy Making from the UNESCO Water Institute in the Delft, Netherlands.