Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
Logo of the DEP
|Formed||July 1, 1995|
|Preceding Agency||Department of Environmental Resources|
|Jurisdiction||State government of Pennsylvania|
|Headquarters||Rachel Carson State Office Building, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
|Agency executive||Chris Abruzzo, Acting Secretary of Environmental Protection|
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) was established on July 1, 1995, is the agency in the U.S. State of Pennsylvania responsible for protecting and preserving the land, air, water, and energy resources through enforcement of the State's environmental laws. The Department also fosters community development, environmental education, and encourages public involvement in environmental policy.
- 1 Structure
- 2 Licensing, Permits & Certifications
- 3 Secretaries
- 4 See also
- 5 Notes
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Office of the Secretary
The policy initiatives of the Secretary are created here as well as environmental justice. Both the environmental quality board and the citizens advisory council also help the Secretary shape Departmental policy.
Office of the Executive Deputy Secretary
The Executive Deputy Secretary performs major communication with various media outlets. Other responsibilities include the development of legislative initiatives and grants for environmental education.
Community Revitalization and Local Government Support
The Land Recycling program, Brownfields Action Team, and the Office of Local Government Liaisons all assist municipalities and business to foster redevelopment of derelict and polluted properties.
The six regional offices (located in Norristown, Harrisburg, Williamsport, Wilkes-Barre, Pittsburgh, and Meadville) as well as the main laboratory all receive assistance through this office. The emergency response team, which handles all environmental emergencies throughout the state, also operates under this office.
Licensing, Permits & Certifications
Natural Gas Well Permits
In March 2011, testimony of four DEP staffers, responsible for processing permits, suggested that applications for natural gas well permits are rubber-stamped, rushed through with little scrutiny and rarely rejected. The staffers' statements indicate that DEP regulators are overburdened - and possibly ignoring environmental laws - as they struggle to deal with an unprecedented drilling boom. Pennsylvania Governor, Tom Corbett, previously repealed a 4-month-old policy that prevented natural gas drilling in state parks, which the former director of DCNR stated could hurt recreation and the environment of parks in the Western part of the state. In April 2011, DEP reported elevated levels of bromide, a chemical used in the natural gas drilling process, in rivers and streams in the Western part of the state and called on companies drilling in the Marcellus Shale natural gas formation to stop taking wastewater to 15 treatment plants by May 19. Michael Krancer, acting Secretary of the DEP, further stated, "if operators (natural gas drilling) would stop giving wastewater to facilities that continue to accept it under the special provision, bromide concentrations would quickly and significantly decrease."
|Name||Dates Served||Appointed by|
|James Seif *||1995 – 2001||Tom Ridge|
|David Hess||2001 – 2003|
|Kathleen McGinty||2003 – 2008||Edward Rendell|
|John Hanger||2008 – 2011|
|Michael Krancer||2011 – 2013||Tom Corbett|
|E. Christopher Ambruzzo||2013 – Present|
* James Seif was also the last Secretary of the Department of Environmental Resources before it was split.
- Pennsylvania Manual, p. 4-54.
- Pennsylvania Manual, p. 4-55.
- Pennsylvania Manual, p. 4-56.
- "Corbett repeals policy on gas drilling in parks". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. February 24, 2011.
- Pennsylvania Manual, pp. 4-58 – 4-59.
- "Cabinet-level agencies". The Pennsylvania Manual 118. Harrisburg, PA: Pennsylvania Department of General Services. 2007.