- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 13, 2015

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina’s new environmental secretary has replaced two assistant secretaries at the state agency.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Donald R. van der Vaart announced Tuesday that Division of Water Resources Director Tom Reeder has been named as the new assistant secretary for the environment. Reeder has helped head up the response to the Dan River coal ash spill.

He replaces Mitch Gillespie, who has been named director of western outreach in Asheville. A former state legislator, Gillespie is a Republican from nearby Marion.

Agency spokesman Drew Elliot said Gillespie’s salary for the newly created outreach position has not been finalized. He was paid $119,000 as assistant secretary.

The agency also announced Brad Ives resigned as assistant secretary for natural resources. A permanent replacement has not been named.

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