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Upstate assemblyman chosen to lead regional EPA office

Pete Lopez, a Republican state assemblyman from Schoharie County, will lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Region 2 office, which covers Western New York, the EPA announced today.

Lopez, 56, was appointed Thursday by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. He will oversee the EPA's regional office that covers all of New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Lopez replaces Judith Enck of Rensselaer County, who served during the Obama's administration.

Lopez, who was born in Miami, moved to New York as an infant. His father is from Puerto Rico and his mother is from Schenectady, according to a biography on his Assembly page.

Lopez joined the Assembly 10 years ago. He serves as a member of the assembly's Environmental Conservation Committee.

“Pete Lopez has spent nearly a decade in one of the country’s largest state legislatures working to improve the quality of life of his constituents,” Pruitt said in a statement. “His familiarity with the region and his experience working to solve environmental problems in New York will be invaluable in helping EPA serve Americans in the Northeast and the Caribbean.”

State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos congratulated Lopez in a statement Thursday afternoon.

"While his arrival at EPA comes at a time of great uncertainty for the future of the agency, I look forward to working with him to ensure our environment and precious natural resources remain protected for all New Yorkers," Seggos said.

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