John Putnam serves as the director of environmental programs. Prior to joining the department in 2019, he practiced as an environmental and transportation attorney for 25 years. He represented states, municipalities and private entities in Colorado and nationwide on a range of environmental issues under the Clean Air Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Clean Water Act and other laws.
Putnam also served as chair and member of the Regional Air Quality Council, which is the lead air quality planning agency for the Denver metropolitan area and North Front Range. He has served as chair of the Boulder Planning Board and Boulder Board of Open Space Trustees, along with service as a consulted expert or committee member for projects for the United States General Accountability Office, United States Transportation Research Board, National Academies and Airports Council International.
As director of environmental programs, Putnam is responsible for overseeing the air, water, waste and environmental health and sustainability divisions of the department, as well as coordinating with the Air Quality Control Commission, Solid and Hazardous Waste Commission and Water Quality Control Commission. He also works with other state agencies and offices on environmental issues affecting the state of Colorado.