After five years leading Indiana’s top environmental agency, Bruno Pigott has set his sights on bigger things. He is stepping down as commissioner of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.
He will now join the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, where he will be the assistant administrator in the Office of Water.
This draws on Pigott’s experience at IDEM that has spanned more than 20 years. Prior to being appointed the commissioner by Gov. Eric Holcomb in 2017, Pigott was IDEM’s chief of staff and also was the assistant commissioner in the state agency’s Office of Water Quality.
“Bruno Pigott’s lifelong passion is to make Indiana and our country a better place to live,” Holcomb said in a press release. “For more than 20 years, there’s been no one more dedicated to balancing environment and business than Commissioner Pigott.”
During his tenure at IDEM, Pigott is credited with helping to eliminate the agency’s backlog of “thousands of permits,” improving water quality by reducing sewage discharges into waterways, streamlining turnaround times for inspection reports and facilitating clean-ups at contaminated sites around the state.
“I was honored to work alongside my IDEM colleagues who have dedicated their livelihoods to protect our environment,” Pigott said in the release from the Governor’s Office, “and because of them and the support of Gov. Holcomb, IDEM was able to make significant improvements.”
Holcomb’s office said many of Pigott’s efforts have allowed businesses to expand their facilities and meet up-to-date requirements.
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The Hoosier Environmental Council, the state’s biggest environmental nonprofit, agrees that Pigott has guided IDEM well and with a “genuine dedication” to protecting the environment and a “genuine concern” for those most affected by pollution.
“Commissioner Pigott’s departure to serve at the EPA is a loss for Indiana, but a gain for the nation as a whole,” said Indra Frank, HEC’s environmental health director. “IDEM and Indiana are better off because of his years of public service.”
The group said it also appreciated Pigott’s open communication with Indiana’s environmental community.
Pigott’s last day is on Friday. A new commissioner has not been named at this time. The Governor’s Office said that will happen at a later time.
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This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: IDEM Commissioner Bruno Pigott leaving Indiana for head US EPA job