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Great Lakes Article:

Granholm makes appointments to state police, DEQ
Amy F. Bailey

Associated Press

LANSING -- Governor-elect Jennifer Granholm on Monday appointed an environmental lawyer to head the state Department of Environmental Quality and a lieutenant colonel in the Michigan State Police to be the first black director of that department.

Attorney Steven Chester, who was the deputy director of criminal enforcement for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under President Clinton, was nominated to be the director of the environmental department in Granholm's administration.

Lt. Col. Tadarial Sturdivant, now the deputy director of the Michigan State Police's Uniform Service Bureau, was nominated to be the head of the department. Granholm said he's the first black person to head that department.

"Today's appointments reflect our commitment to protecting and securing Michigan's future," said Granholm, a Democrat who takes office next week.

Granholm may announce additional appointments on Thursday, spokeswoman Genna Gent said.

The Michigan Environmental Council, a group often critical of outgoing Gov. John Engler's environmental policies, applauded Chester's appointment.

"He's done a lot of criminal enforcement," said James Clift, policy director of the Michigan Environmental Council. "It's nice to have someone in there who knows when it's time to close someone down."

Environmentalists have frequently accused the Engler administration of failing to address problems such as air and water pollution, urban sprawl and large animal-feeding operations that pollute rivers and lakes.

Chester, 48, of Williamston, could eventually be the head of one department that includes the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Environmental Quality.

But Chester said any action to combine the agencies depends on the Natural Resources Commission, which selects the DNR director. DNR Director K.L. Cool has a contract until 2004, department spokesman Brad Wurfel said.

Monday's announcement came on the heels of last week's appointments of Lansing Mayor David Hollister as head of a new labor and economic department; Mary Lannoye as the state budget director; and Jay Rising as the state treasurer.

Sturdivant, 47, of Plymouth, has been with the Michigan State Police since 1978, where he started as a trooper stationed at the Ypsilanti Post.

Since they were appointed state department heads, Hollister, Rising, Chester and Sturdivant must be confirmed by the Republican-controlled state Senate.

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