The state Department of Environmental Quality has hired Paul Wright as the new district engineer to serve parts of southern Utah.

Wright, 42, replaces Randy Taylor, who retired earlier this year.

Wright received his undergraduate degree from BYU in 1993 and a master's degree in civil engineering from BYU in 1998. He has worked as a consultant for 19 years at Franson Civil Engineers in American Fork. He begins his duties on Monday, representing the agency in helping Washington, Kane, Beaver, and Iron counties with environmental issues.

"I'm excited to be working for DEQ," Wright said. "I have spent my whole career tackling water issues, and the fact that I get to be involved in a number of different environmental issues is very appealing."