The South Coast Air Quality Management District board voted Friday to oust the agency’s longtime top executive, the first major move by the board’s newly minted Republican majority as it endeavors to create a more industry-friendly regulatory environment.

The 7-6 party-line vote behind closed doors to fire CEO Barry Wallerstein follows the successful effort late last year by top Orange County Republican Party officials to oust Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido, a Democrat, from the board and replace him with Republican Lake Forest Councilman Dwight Robinson.

Voice of OC reporter Nick Gerda joined local NPR station KCRW for a segment on the firing and what it could mean for the future of air pollution regulation. Also in the segment is Sacramento Bee editorial page editor Dan Morain and program host Steve Chiotakis.

Click here to listen to the segment on the KCRW website (click the blue “Play” button on the page).

Or click here to download an audio file of the segment, in MP3 format.

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