SALT LAKE CITY  — Amanda Smith, executive director of the Utah Department of Environmental Quality was named Lawyer of the Year by the Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law Section of the Utah State Bar.

Smith received the award at the annual meeting of the Utah State Bar's environmental law group.

"It is an incredible honor to be recognized by my peers," Smith said. "I am very humbled to receive this award."

Comment on this story

The award recognizes an attorney's achievement in energy, natural resources and environmental law during the past year.

Smith is being recognized for her leadership in legislative efforts for the successful passage of a pair of bills establishing new appeals procedures for environmental permits and restructuring of regulatory boards to allow for more public participation.

Members also honored Denise Chancellor, who represented the agency through the Utah Attorney General's Office, with a lifetime achievement award. Chancellor retired in August.

Amy Joi O'Donoghue Twitter: amyjoi16