D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray has named a new environmental chief for the city less than five months after sacking his previous pick.

Gray announced Friday that he has tapped Keith Anderson, who has been the interim director of the District Department of the Environment, to lead the agency permanently.

"Keith is a consummate professional who has proven his mettle while serving as interim director of one of our most important agencies," Gray said in a statement that also praised Anderson as "a strong advocate for the environment."

The Ward 4 resident previously served as the environment department's chief of staff.

The Gray administration fired the department's former director, Christophe Tulou, in August after what officials described as a "breach of protocol."

Tulou later filed a federal whistleblower complaint in which he alleged he was dismissed in retaliation for contacting the Environmental Protection Agency and expressing doubts about a Gray-backed plan to delay the construction of a tunnel designed to clean up the city's waterways.

Under the proposal supported by the mayor, D.C. Water wanted to use "green" techniques to prevent polluted runoff from entering rivers and creeks.