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Air Quality Official's Appointment Angers Environmentalists

TravelingOtter / Flickr
 

TravelingOtter / Flickr

(AP) — The board that regulates Southern California's air quality, having angered environmentalists last month by firing its longtime director, angered them again this week by replacing him with an industry consultant.

The Los Angeles Times reports the South Coast Air Quality Management District board voted unanimously Friday to appoint Wayne Nastri as executive officer.

Nastri heads the environmental and energy consulting firm E4 Strategic Solutions, which represents companies before the air district. Previously he was administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Pacific Southwest region under the George W. Bush administration.

Protesters from Sierra Club and other groups complained the agency is appointing someone whose career has been using government experience to lobby regulators on behalf of industry, not protect the environment.

Nastri promised to listen to both sides.