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    Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s environment chief to leave City Hall

    Boston’s chief of environment and energy will leave his post after almost seven years to pursue a job outside of government.

    James W. Hunt III became Boston’s first cabinet chief of environment and energy in 2005, overseeing the Inspectional Services Department, the Environment Department, parks planning, and the city’s recycling policy.

    According to Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s office, Hunt implemented the nation’s first green building zoning in Boston and crafted a plan to reduce the city’s carbon emissions by 25 percent by 2020. Hunt also created the city’s first energy management unit, helping municipal departments save millions of dollars on utility bills.

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    “He helped build greener buildings and better neighborhoods, attract new companies and create good green jobs, and has simply improved people’s lives,” Menino said in a statement. “While his leadership will be missed in city government, I know he will continue to do great things for the city of Boston.”

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    A lifelong Dorchester resident, Hunt served as assistant secretary of the state’s Executive Office of Environmental Affairs before joining the Menino administration. While with the state, he worked on the proposed Cape Cod wind-power project and the Central Artery project, and he served on the state’s ocean management task force.

    At City Hall, Hunt became one of Menino’s top advisers. He will leave his post at the end of July. In an interview, Hunt said he does not yet have another job, but plans to spend a few weeks with his family.

    “I want to try something outside of government, but continue to do things that are good for the public,” Hunt said.

    Andrew Ryan can be reached at acryan@globe.com Follow him on Twitter @globeandrewryan.