Georgia governor nominates new EPD head to replace Carol Couch

Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue today recommended F. Allen Barnes to be the state's next director of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division. If the Board of Natural Resources approves at its Wednesday meeting, Barnes will replace Carol Couch , who after six years as EPD director left to take a faculty position at the University of Georgia’s College of Environment and Design.

Barnes is a partner in the law firm King & Spalding, in environmental practice. From 2002 to 2005, he was chief of staff for the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 4, the agency's eight-state Southeast region. Before working at the EPA, he taught natural resource policy and law at Mississippi State University, from 1996 to 2002.

Barnes also has been a prosecutor in the Florida State Attorney’s Office and a special assistant U.S. attorney, handling criminal, tort and environmental litigation. He graduated from the University of West Florida and got his law degree from the University of Mississippi.