James Jennings was named as Deputy Director of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency in April 2023. As Deputy Director, James is responsible for the day-to-day oversight of issues that have an intersecting impact on the Illinois EPA’s Bureaus of Air, Land, and Water, as well as the Division of Laboratories. Prior to his current role, James served the Illinois EPA in several capacities, most recently as the Materials Management and Compliance Section Manager, overseeing the materials management programs, RCRA and solid waste compliance programs, and state and federal reporting obligations. Prior to that, James was Assistant Legal Counsel to the Illinois EPA’s Bureau of Land for three years.
James is Vice-Chair of the Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials’ (ASTSWMO) Materials Management Subcommittee, Chair of the ASTSWMO Sustainable Materials Management Task Force, a member of the Environmental Council of the States Compliance Governance Team, a board member of the Land of Lincoln Chapter of Solid Waste Association of North America, a member of the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center Advisory Board, and State Government Liaison to the Illinois Recycling Foundation and Illinois Food Scrap Coalition. Prior to joining the Illinois EPA, James worked for the Illinois Executive Inspector General and the Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy. James obtained his law degree from the University of Kentucky and his undergraduate degree from the University of Cincinnati.