RALEIGH — A top North Carolina environmental official appointed during the McCrory administration has been replaced by Gov. Roy Cooper, the News & Observer reported.
Michael Ellison, the former director of the Division of Mitigation Services in the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, left after his appointment ended on Feb. 9. The deputy director of the program, Tim Baumgartner, will serve as an interim director until a new director is appointed.
The division is responsible for restoring wetlands and waterways, as well as offsetting environmental damage from economic development.
In 2014, the division rewrote stream protection rules after meeting privately with industry insiders and regulators. Ellison later apologized, saying the changes were small, after the North Carolina Environmental Management Commission publicly denounced the actions.