Steve Tambini announced he plans to retire Dec. 1 from his post as executive director of the Delaware River Basin Commission.
Steve Tambini announced he plans to retire Dec. 1 from his post as executive director of the Delaware River Basin Commission.

Tambini to retire as DRBC executive director

| March 7, 2024

Steve Tambini, the executive director of the Delaware River Basin Commission, announced on Wednesday his intention to retire Dec. 1.

“Leading and furthering the DRBC’s worthy mission of managing, protecting and improving the shared water resources of the Delaware River Basin has been the highlight of my 42-year career in water resources,” Tambini said in a DRBC news release announcing the retirement. “It has been a privilege and an honor to work alongside so many talented professionals at the commission and its member agencies.”

The commission’s members will pick the next executive director, according to the DRBC.

Tambini joined the commission on Aug. 1, 2014, and will have served a bit over 10 years as executive director by the time he departs.

Previously, Tambini held leadership positions at Pennsylvania American Water and New Jersey American Water. He also serves in advisory roles for the Delaware Estuary Program, Pennsylvania State Water Plan, Delaware River Watershed Conservation Collaborative and the Schuylkill Action Network.

“Under Steve Tambini’s impeccable leadership, the DRBC has significantly advanced water science and policy,” said New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, who is one of the commissioners.

“From helping to address and combat the effects of climate change, improving water quality, and ultimately expanding water security for over 14 million people, Steve has left an undeniable impact on our state,” Murphy said.

 A comment from Kathy Klein, executive director of the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary: I want to express my gratitude for Steve’s strong leadership and commitment to clean water in our Delaware River Watershed. In his role as a Steering Committee member of the Delaware Estuary Program, he has been a valued partner and provided support for both the development and implementation of the 2019 Revised Comprehensive Conservation & Management Plan focused on Clean Waters, Healthy Habitats, and Strong Communities. We wish Steve all the best in his retirement and thank him for his service.

For many people in the watershed, one of the more significant actions taken by the commissioners during Tambini’s tenure was the Feb. 25, 2021, decision to ban fracking in the watershed.

And then the commission tackled the next problem with fracking — where does that fracked wastewater go? Its answer: not in the Delaware River basin.

He also led the commission’s investigation into the problem of insufficient dissolved oxygen in the urban core of the river to allow the federally endangered sturgeon population to thrive. That investigation underpins the Environmental Protection Agency’s recent proposal to increase the required dissolved oxygen levels in that section of the river.

Meg McGuire

Meg McGuire

Meg McGuire has been a journalist for 30 years in New York and Connecticut. She started in weekly newspapers and moved to full-time work in dailies 25 years ago. She knows about the tectonic changes in journalism firsthand, having been part of what was euphemistically called a "reduction in force" six years ago. Now she's working to find new ways to "do" the news as an independent online publisher of news about the Delaware River, its watershed and its people.

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