California State Senate Confirms Two Appointees to State Water Resources Control Board

By on September 8, 2019

The California State Senate voted on Thursday, Sept. 5 to confirm to appointees to the State Water Resources Control Board.  Sean Maguire was appointed late last year by former Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. prior to Gov. Brown’s departure from office. Laurel Firestone was appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom earlier this year.

Maguire is filling the position on the State Water Board designated for a civil engineer. Maguire has a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from California State University, Sacramento. He has a diverse career both in public service and as an engineering consultant.

In his early career he worked for an engineering consulting firm serving a variety of municipalities and water agencies throughout the state. This work focused on water resource planning, drinking water, and wastewater infrastructure projects. His work focused on integrated water management and developing long-term water supply solutions to meet the needs of both water users and the environment. From 2015 to 2018 Maguire was employed by the State Water Board as a manager of the Storm Water Grant Program in the Division of Financial Assistance. He later served as a manager in the Division of Water Rights, overseeing administration of water right change petitions, licensing, and cannabis cultivation permitting.

“It is an honor to be confirmed by the Senate to continue serving the State of California,” Maguire said. “In my mind there is no greater responsibility than stewardship of our water, and I am wholly committed to overcoming the many challenges we face, such as adapting to the impacts of climate change and ensuring safe drinking water for all Californians.”

Firestone graduated with a B.A., magna cum laude, in Environmental Studies from Brown University, Rhode Island and completed her J.D. with honors from Harvard Law School.  Firestone will now fill the position on the State Water Board designated for an attorney.

Firestone has received a variety of awards and recognitions, including the James Irvine Foundation’s Leadership Award in 2018 and the Gary Bellow Public Service Award by the Harvard Law School in 2013. She was a recipient of an Equal Justice Works fellowship to start the Rural Poverty Water Project in the Central Valley from 2004-06 as part of the Center for Race, Poverty and the Environment.

From 2006-2019, Firestone co-founded and co-directed the Community Water Center (CWC), a statewide nonprofit environmental justice organization based in California’s Central Valley and on the Central Coast. CWC helps disadvantaged communities gain access to safe, clean, and affordable drinking water.

Firestone served on the Tulare County Water Commission from 2007‐2012 and co‐chaired the Governor’s Drinking Water Stakeholder Group from 2012‐2014. Additionally, she has served on a variety of state policy advisory committees and partnered with universities to develop research and clinical programs for the human right to water. In 2009, Firestone authored the comprehensive Guide to Community Drinking Water Advocacy and has written a variety of articles relating to safe drinking water and the environment.

“It is an honor to be appointed by Gov. Newsom and confirmed by the Senate to serve the people of California in this capacity.” Firestone said. “I look forward to working with partners throughout the state to ensure we live up to the promise of the human right to water, build resiliency for all throughout our water systems, and protect and enhance our natural watersheds and ecosystems in every region of the state.”

Maguire’s term with the State Water Board expires in January 2020. Firestone’s term is set to expire in January 2023.