Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin has appointed longtime environmental consultant and entrepreneur Michael Rolband, of Nokesville, to lead the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.
Rolband, 64, will take the reins from Virginia’s current environmental chief David Paylor. Paylor has served as DEQ director since 2006.
Rolband declined an interview with Prince William Times, saying he was unable to do so prior to Youngkin’s inauguration this Saturday, Jan. 15.
“Mike Rolband comes to the administration with an abundance of knowledge and hands-on experience, known as an environmental expert by colleagues across the United States, the team is grateful to have him as part of the administration,” Youngkin’s transition team said in a statement.
Rolband is a registered professional engineer, wetland delineator and wetland scientist. He founded the environmental consulting firm Wetland Studies and Solutions, Inc. in Prince William County in 1991. Based in Nokesville, the firm now has 210 employees and is "a leading environmental and cultural resources consultant in the mid-Atlantic region,” according to its website.
“Over nearly 30 years, his company provided services and permit approvals on over 8,000 projects across 300,000 acres in the region, including data centers, major transportation infrastructure, master planned communities and office and industrial developments,” the Youngkin statement said.
Wetland Studies and Solutions, Inc. constructed Virginia’s first wetland mitigation bank in 1994: the Julie J. Metz Wetland Bank in Woodbridge. The bank is located on the southern end of the popular Neabsco Creek Boardwalk.
Wetland Studies and Solutions, Inc., became a wholly owned subsidiary of Ohio-based Davey Tree Expert Company in 2014.
Rolband retired from Wetland Studies and Solutions, Inc. in February 2021 and joined the board of directors of the Davey Resource Group, Inc., a Davey Tree subsidiary that owns all of Davey Tree’s consulting operations. From 2017 to 2020, Rolband a professor of practice at Cornell University, where he taught wetlands and stream restoration.