Alaskan picked to lead regional EPA office

    JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Chris Hladick, Alaska's state commerce commissioner, has been chosen to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's regional office.

    Gov. Bill Walker says Hladick will leave his state role Nov. 1. Mike Navarre, the outgoing mayor of the Kenai Peninsula Borough, will succeed Hladick.

    Hladick previously held city manager roles in several Alaska communities, including Unalaska and Dillingham.

    In joining the EPA, Hladick will oversee a region that includes Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington and about 270 tribes.

    His pick won praise from Alaska's Republican congressional delegation.

    U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski says Hladick knows the issues communities face when dealing with the EPA. Rep. Don Young says Hladick can begin rebuilding a level of trust and confidence in the EPA that Young says had eroded under the Obama administration.

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