John F. Painter
Chip Merriam Bio

Chip Merriam served as the Vice President of Legislative, Regulatory & Compliance for the Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC—The Reliable One). He worked at OUC from November 2009 until his retirement in July 2019. OUC is the second largest municipal utility in Florida and 14th largest in the United States, providing electric and water service to more than 312,000 residential and commercial customers in the cities of Orlando and St. Cloud and unincorporated portions of Orange and Osceola counties.

In his role, Mr. Merriam was responsible for managing energy and water regulatory and compliance matters for OUC and was heavily involved in the development of State of Florida and federal legislative policy. He has worked with the EPA on the development of the Clean Air Act, and Clean Water Act and corresponding Numeric Nutrient Criterion. In addition, Mr. Merriam was responsible for OUC-specific development and implementation of transmission and reliability standards under the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), as well as the North American Energy Reliability Commission (NERC).

On behalf of OUC, Mr. Merriam serve as a member of the various committees of the Large Public Power Council (LPPC) including the Climate Policy Group, the Nuclear Strategy Group, the Governmental Relations Task Force, Cyber Security Task Force, and the Environmental Task Force. He serves on the Boards of Directors for the New Water Coalition and is the immediate past Board President of the Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA). In addition, he coordinated with the St. Johns River and South Florida water management districts on rule making, Environmental Resource permitting, Consumptive Use Permitting, and Water policy development issues impacting Florida. Mr. Merriam led OUC in the development of amendments and modifications to Site Certification. He also maintained environmental compliance for the Stanton Energy Center and the Indian River Power Plant that is owned by OUC. Mr. Merriam has served on both the regulated and regulator side of the permitting process.

From 1990-2009, Mr. Merriam served as the Deputy Executive Director for the South Florida Water Management District, Florida’s largest water management district, serving 16 counties, more than 150 municipalities and more than 7.1 million people. He was responsible for coordinating and implementing: the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, a capital construction of the Everglades Construction Project, the Everglades Long Term Plan for Water Quality, Everglades Research, Kissimmee Restoration, development of the Lake Okeechobee Protection Plan, Environmental Resource Permitting, water supply planning development and consumptive use permitting, water quality monitoring, evaluation, and assessment.

A Florida native, Mr. Merriam is a graduate of the University of Florida.

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