The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) has appointed Terry A’Hearn as its chief executive.
A’Hearn, who is currently chief executive of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), will join Sepa in April and succeed current head James Curran.
A spokesperson for the Northern Ireland’s department of environment said it had not made a decision on his replacement yet.
Sepa chairman David Sigsworth said A’Hearn had a “strong background in environmental protection and regulation”.
A’Hearn joined the NIEA in October 2012 and has been tasked with restructuring the agency to help reduce waste crime in the region. After some half a million tonnes of waste were discovered at an illegal site in June 2013, a report concluded the country lacked an “overall strategy for preventing, deterring and combating waste crime”.
A’Hearn has sought to improve communication across government departments dealing with waste issues, as well as introducing ‘prosperity agreements’, voluntary commitments through which the NIEA, companies and third sector organisations can explore opportunities for reducing their impact on the environment.
He moved from Australia to the UK in 2010 when he became a consultant for WSP Environment and Energy in London. Before that he worked for the Environment Protection Authority in the state of Victoria for 17 years in a range of executive and senior management roles.
Read MRW’s report on Northern Ireland here