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State DEQ director plans to step down

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Rick Sprott, executive director of the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, said Monday that he plans to step down from his post next month.

Sprott said he plans to retire effective Dec. 5 to spend more time with his family.

Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. appointed Sprott to head the department in June 2007. Sprott replaced Dianne Nielsen, who now serves as the state's chief energy advisor. Prior to being appointed to his current position, Sprott served as director of the state Division of Air Quality, where he worked for 14 years.

"I have appreciated the leadership the governor has shown for environmental issues and the support the Legislature has given to fund critical programs such as air quality and others," Sprott said. "But my family has relocated to New Mexico, and I am anxious to join them."

Deputy director Bill Sinclair will serve as interim director until a permanent replacement is named by the governor.