SALT LAKE CITY — The National Association of Clean Water Agencies on Monday honored Utah Division of Water Quality Director Walt Baker with the 2014 National Environmental State Public Service Award.

"Walt is a force for good in championing Utah's water issues," said Amanda Smith, the department's executive director. "I commend Walt's leadership both within the (Department of Environmental Quality) and nationally and join in congratulating him on being honored with this award."

During his 30 years at department, Baker has initiated and chaired various stakeholder work groups to address Utah's water issues, such as nutrient pollution in Utah's waterways, rules governing septic tank systems that serve much of rural Utah, mercury pollution and strategies to protect the Great Salt Lake's water quality.

Baker was appointed division director and executive secretary of the Utah Water Quality Board in May 2004. He has served as president of the Water Environment Association of Utah and the national Association of Clean Water Administrators. He currently serves on the Western States Water Council, the Utah Conservation Commission and the Utah Lake Commission.