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Former Perry Adviser Picked To Lead TCEQ

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AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has picked a former adviser to Gov. Rick Perry as the agency’s new executive director.

The agency’s three commissioners voted unanimously Wednesday to appoint Zak Covar executive director. He will enter the position on May 1. Current director Mark Vickery is retiring.

The commission regulates and oversees environmental issues in Texas.  It has been accused of censorship and of whitewashing certain environmental concerns.

Covar has been active in state government for years. He began his career as a lawmaker’s clerk on the Texas House Environmental Regulation Committee.

Between 2005 and 2007, Covar served as Perry’s adviser on environmental and natural resource issues. He advised Perry on budget and policy issues regarding the TCEQ, the Texas Railroad Commission and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Covar has also served as executive assistant to TCEQ Chairman Bryan Shaw, and as the agency’s assistant deputy executive director.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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