DEM Director Coit stepping down next week

Environment

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management Director Janet Coit plans to step down after leading the agency for 10 years.

Gov. Dan McKee made the announcement Tuesday, saying Coit’s last day will be June 18.

The following day, her deputy director for environmental protection, Terrance Gray, will take over as acting director.

Coit took the helm at the DEM in 2011. Over the past decade, she has been a “powerful advocate for our state’s environment, agriculture, parks, fisheries, and so much more,” according to McKee.

“Her commitment to protecting our environment and addressing climate change will benefit Rhode Islanders for years to come,” he said in a statement. “Janet has connected countless Rhode Islanders and visitors to the natural wonders that our state has to offer, all the while improving customer services, sustainability, and morale within RIDEM. We are grateful for her public service and wish her all the best in her next endeavor.”

“Being at the helm of DEM for over 10 years was a great privilege, given the consequential nature of the department’s work to improve public health, quality of life, and the economy of Rhode Island,” Coit said.

She also expressed confidence that she’s leaving the DEM in good hands.

Gray has been with the DEM for 34 years, the governor’s office said, and during that time has managed all of the department’s major environmental regulatory programs, as well as the state’s Transportation and Climate Initiative.

“Terry Gray is a dedicated public servant who has decades of experience in protecting Rhode Island’s natural resources,” McKee said. “Terry has a record of hands-on leadership and an unwavering commitment to building a healthier, safer environment for all Rhode Islanders.”

“I appreciate Governor McKee’s appointment and will work to continue to deliver responsive, clear, and predictable customer service across DEM,” Gray said. “This ethic is one of Director Coit’s greatest legacies. DEM has a broad mission important to all Rhode Islanders. We have much work ahead of us and I look forward to working with DEM employees, our partners in other state and municipal agencies, and public stakeholders to accomplish it.”

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