New Mexico – As a scientist and environmental activist, Al Armendariz has long been frustrated by the government's inability to clean up polluted air in Texas.
He's called the Environmental Protection Agency broken, labeled both the EPA and the Texas environmental agency failures, and testified on behalf of activist groups.
Now Armendariz is in charge of EPA operations in New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas.
Armendariz is a chemical engineer who was a professor at Southern Methodist University before the appointment.
He sees his new job as a natural fit and merely a continuation of the EPA's recent sweeping changes that include stricter regulations on smog, greenhouse gases and all sorts of other pollutants.
Armendariz was sworn in at a ceremony this month at the EPA's regional headquarters in Dallas.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.