RALEIGH Donald R. van der Vaart, secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, is set to meet with President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team in New York today to discuss a position in the Trump administration, according to a source on the Trump transition team.Van der Vaart’s meeting at Trump Tower was scheduled for late morning, potentially to discuss filling a senior position in the Environmental Protection Agency. Tuesday is also van der Vaart’s 59th birthday.Van der Vaart could be in the running for the assistant administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation (OAR). Janet McCabe is currently the acting assistant administrator. Van der Vaart has testified before the U.S Congress on several occasions regarding air regulations and is considered an expert in the field.Van der Vaart has been head of DEQ since Jan. 1, 2015, when he was appointed by outgoing Gov. Pat McCrory. He succeeded John Skvarla, who left DEQ to head up the N.C. Department of Commerce. Van der Vaart was previously DEQ deputy secretary and the department’s energy policy adviser. Van der Vaart was also an engineer supervisor and then program manager for the N.C. Division of Air Quality.Van der Vaart has his bachelor’s degree from UNC Chapel Hill, his master’s degree in chemical engineering from NC State, and a doctorate in the same field from Cambridge. He also holds a law degree from N.C. Central.
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