PA Governor Taps Acting Secretaries For PA-DEP and PA-DCNR

by Duane Nichols on September 27, 2013

PA Unconventional Gas Wells

PA Governor Taps Acting Secretaries For PA-DEP and PA-DCNR

From the Article by Katie Colaneri, State Impact NPR, September 20, 2013

Governor Tom Corbett is nominating his acting secretaries to fill vacancies at the state’s top environmental regulation agencies.

Christopher Abruzzo has been serving the Department of Environmental Protection since April when then-secretary Michael Krancer left the department to take a job at an influential law firm, Blank Rome. Abruzzo previously served as Corbett’s deputy chief of staff.

In a press release on the nominations, Corbett praised Abruzzo’s work on environmental initiatives as a member of his staff, including “refocusing the agency on job number one: protecting the environment. “The citizens of Pennsylvania will continue to benefit from his pragmatic, balanced approach to problem-solving.”

Corbett is also satisfied with the work of Ellen Ferretti, who was named acting secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources in June. Former DCNR Secretary Richard Allan was forced out by the administration over “personal matters” after Allan was caught sending a racially charged e-mail to his wife, according to reports.

Allan was also criticized over controversial plans to expand drilling in the Loyalstock State Forest. Since his departure, Ferretti has met with environmental groups that are fighting the plan.

Before stepping in as acting secretary, Ferretti served on the DCNR as deputy secretary for parks and forestry. “She understands the unique qualities of our state park and forest systems,” Corbett said in the press release.

The nominations will head to the state Senate for confirmation.


Families Affected by Gas Drilling Endorse John Hanger for PA Governor

Posted  by Hanger for Governor on September 10, 2013

Thirteen people who have experienced problems as a result of gas drilling today endorsed John Hanger for governor. When Hanger was Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection, he helped the families when gas drilling companies polluted their water and caused other problems. He forced the companies to fix the problems and compensate the families. The families said that John will stand with those who have no power against the powerful.

As Secretary, Hanger also wrote the moratorium on further drilling in state forests, enacted five strong drilling regulations, more than doubled gas regulatory staff, and issued 1200 notices of violation to gas drillers in 2010 alone.

Victoria Switzer from Dimock, Susquehanna County said John Hanger stepped in to help her community deal with problems caused by gas drilling.

“I have lived and still live the drama, trials and tribulations of living in one of the first gasfields to be developed in the Marcellus Shale formation,” said Switzer. “I also, now know, far too well, what our elected officials can and cannot or will not do to ensure the safety and well-being of their constituents as well as the protection of our environment.”

“I offer my first-hand experience with dealing with the issues that surround gas extraction as my credibility and my well (no pun intended) earned right to publicly endorse a fellow citizen that I believe can be the tough regulator of the gas industry that we need. I believe he will help us move forward to a better, brighter future, a future that is not lit only by the flame of natural gas but the light of honest, progressive, credible leadership.”

The families also praised Hanger’s plan to create world class drilling standards for Pennsylvania and the creation of an ombudsman office to investigate and resolve problems related to gas drilling experienced by landowners and communities. They also applauded his commitment to renewable energy as the long-term solution to our energy needs. Most importantly, they believe that John is the person who can help gas field communities find common ground and help begin the healing process.

Here are the endorsement statement and Victoria Switzer’s statement.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Julia Anne Jenkins October 8, 2013 at 5:02 am

This website continues to carry interesting material. It is a valuable resource. But, when will the WV Legislature and Governor step up to actual real protection for surface owners, for local residents and for our environment? The evidence for this need is so strong! WHEN?


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