Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

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Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Logo.svg
Logo of the DEP
Agency overview
Formed July 1, 1995
Preceding Agency Department of Environmental Resources
Jurisdiction State government of Pennsylvania
Headquarters Rachel Carson State Office Building, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
40°15′45″N 76°52′46.5″W / 40.26250°N 76.879583°W / 40.26250; -76.879583
Agency executive John Quigley, Acting Secretary of Environmental Protection

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) was established on December 3, 1970,[1] 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.[2]


Office of the Secretary[edit]

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.[3]

Office of the Executive Deputy Secretary[edit]

The Executive Deputy Secretary performs major communication with various media outlets. Other responsibilities include the development of legislative initiatives and grants for environmental education.[3]

Community Revitalization and Local Government Support[edit]

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.[4]

Field Operations[edit]

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.[5]

Radiation Protection[edit]

Waste Management[edit]

Watershed Management[edit]

Waterways Engineering[edit]

Licensing, Permits & Certifications[edit]

Natural Gas Well Permits[edit]

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.[6] Former 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.[7] 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."[8]


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 – October 2, 2014
Dana Ankust [9] October 2, 2014 – 2015
John Quigley (Acting) [10] 2015 – Present Tom Wolf

* James Seif was also the last Secretary of the Department of Environmental Resources before it was split.[11]

See also[edit]



External links[edit]