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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) — The Bureau of Land Management announced that an attorney who previously worked on agency issues for environmental groups will serve as the new deputy director.

The U.S. Department of the Interior said Nada Culver, who was appointed to the Denver position, will effectively run the agency for the short term, replacing former agency director William Perry Pendley, The Daily Sentinel reported Tuesday.

The department also said Culver’s new position is the first in the succession order. Culver will perform delegated duties of the director until someone is hired. Pendley also ran the agency as the deputy director since the agency’s director position has been vacant.

The position is subject to a Senate confirmation process following nomination by the president.

President Joe Biden has not yet nominated anyone to serve as director.

The Interior Department made the announcement on Monday, saying the department’s political team “proudly reflects the diversity of America” with more than half the team identifying as people of color and 80% as women.

The bureau oversees nearly a quarter-billion public acres in the U.S. West and much of the nation’s development of onshore oil and gas.

Culver said she could not comment on her new job, instead referring questions to the department.

She most recently served as vice president of public lands and senior policy counsel at the National Audubon Society. Previously, she served as senior counsel and senior director for policy and planning at the Wilderness Society, where she created a group that worked with people on participating in land use planning processes and management decisions.

Culver started her career working on environmental issues. She was a partner with the law firm Patton Boggs, now Squire Patton Boggs.

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Agency: Don't Put Crawfish Boil, Shells, Down Storm Drain

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — As crawfish season begins, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality is reminding people not to commit crawfish pollution.

Don't put crawfish shells or water left after boiling crawfish down storm drains, into ditches, or anywhere they could get into bodies of water, the department said in its February newsletter.

“Dumping any seafood waste such as crawfish shells and boil water into a ditch, bayou, river, lake or other waterway can seriously harm or kill any resident aquatic species living there,” the article said.

In the longer term, such dumping also contributes to fish kills and fish diseases, according to the department and the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program.

The waste can spread pathogens that make fish ill, the estuary program said on its website.

In addition, decaying shells use dissolved oxygen, leading to fish kills. The nitrogen-rich waste also can feed blooms of algae — which in turn die and sink to the bottom, using oxygen as they decompose, according to the estuary program.

Shells should either be double-bagged and put into a secure trash can or buried in your own yard as compost, the department newsletter said.

“Just ensure that the burial is fully covered and isn’t near a ditch or water body,” it said. “Try to add hay, grass, mulch or topsoil as an added cover so that odors are reduced along with the potential for subsequent disturbance by animals or humans.”

Boil water should go down the drain to a public sewage system. or onto your own property away from water drainage.

“Public wastewater treatment systems are equipped to process wastewater and treat the constituents in the boil water,” the department said, but private treatment systems aren't.

“Instead, the water may be poured into a grassy or weeded area on your own property away from any bayou, ditch, or body of water,” it said.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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