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PA Environment Digest Sept. 23, 2013

PA Environment Digest Sept. 23, 2013

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A weekly newsletter on environmental issues facing Pennsylvania, including Marcellus Shale natural gas development.
A weekly newsletter on environmental issues facing Pennsylvania, including Marcellus Shale natural gas development.

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Published by: www.PaEnvironmentDigest.com on Sep 21, 2013
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09/21/2013

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PA Environment Digest
An Update On Environmental Issues In PA
Edited By: David E. Hess, Crisci Associates
Winner 2009PAEE Business PartnerOf The Year Award
 
Harrisburg, Pa September 23, 2013Corbett Nominates Chris Abruzzo For DEP, Ellen Ferretti For DCNR Secretaries
Gov. Tom Corbett Friday nominated Ellen M. Ferretti asSecretary of the Department of Conservation and NaturalResources and E. Christopher Abruzzo as Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection.Ferretti, of Dallas, Luzerne County, had beenserving as deputy secretary for parks and forestry until shewas named interim secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources in June.Abruzzo, of Hershey, Dauphin County, wasserving as Corbett's deputy chief of staff until he was appointed interim secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection in April.
Click Hereto read Acting Secretary Abruzzo’s first in depthinterview by the PA Environmental Council.)
"Christopher and Ellen have served several months in the capacity of acting secretary of their respective departments, and in both cases we have seen each of them earn the respect of people bothinside and outside of the agencies,'' Corbett said. "Each embody the commitment and dedication to protecting and conserving our environment and natural resources, which is a top priority of myadministration and the people of Pennsylvania.''"Ellen has devoted much of her career toward the development, promotion and protection of our state parks and forest lands. That experience and insight will make her an excellent secretary,''Corbett said. "She understands the unique qualities of our state park and forest systems. I am confidentthe citizens of Pennsylvania will benefit from her continued stewardship of our public lands.''With respect to Abruzzo, Corbett said, "Chris has served the citizens of Pennsylvania withdistinction, both as a prosecuting attorney and as a member of my executive staff. As deputy chief of staff, Chris played instrumental roles in many of my environmental initiatives, including enhanced protective standards for oil and gas development, implementing the permit decision guarantee, andrefocusing the agency on job number one: protecting the environment. The citizens of Pennsylvania willcontinue to benefit from his pragmatic, balanced approach to problem-solving.''Ferretti, 56, has more than 20 years of experience working to protect the state's naturalresources, having served as the Pennsylvania Environmental Council's director of its northeast regionaloffice, where she worked closely with DCNR and its partners on landscape conservation.In addition, Ferretti has served as director of Environmental Resources at Borton-Lawson
 
Engineering; as a land protection specialist for The Nature Conservancy; and as a project manager atWestinghouse Environmental and Geotechnical Services, Inc.A graduate of Wilkes College with a degree in environmental science and biology, Ferretti hascompleted numerous continuing education courses on conservation, environmental assessments,redevelopment, forest stewardship, trail, park and recreational planning.PennsylvaniaGrowing Greener CoalitionExecutive Director Andrew Heath endorsed thegovernor's nomination of Ferretti."We congratulate Ellen Ferretti on her nomination,'' Heath said. "Her leadership and expertise,coupled with her commitment to Pennsylvania's natural resources, make her a strong choice to headDCNR.''"Ms. Ferretti has a proven record in caring for the commonwealth's rich natural resources andthe coalition looks forward to working with her to ensure continued and enhanced funding for parks,recreation, trails and green spaces throughout the state,'' Heath said.As deputy chief of staff, Abruzzo, 46, was responsible for overseeing the activities of nearly 20state agencies and commissions, including DEP and DCNR. He brings 20 years of public serviceexperience to DEP. He previously served in the state Attorney General's office prosecuting andsupervising cases involving white collar crime, drug investigation and Medicaid fraud.In addition to his role in state government, Abruzzo has served for six years with the DerryTownship Board of Supervisors and the Derry Township Municipal Authority, which oversees thetownship's wastewater systems, interceptor lines, sewage treatment plant, and the treatment anddisposal of industrial waste.While chairman of the authority in 2010 and 2011, Abruzzo was instrumental in directing thetownship's response to flooding caused by catastrophic storm events Hurricane Irene and TropicalStorm Lee.Abruzzo's local government experience gives him a unique understanding of the many issues andchallenges that municipalities encounter as they strive to implement best practices and meetenvironmental standards and regulations.A graduate of St. Joseph's University, Abruzzo earned his law degree from the Widener University School of Law."Township supervisors are known for their common sense and pragmatic and balancedapproach to problem solving and Chris Abruzzo, chairman of the Derry Township Board of Supervisors, will bring these important skills with him as the permanent head of the state Department of Environmental Protection,'' Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors Executive Director David Sanko said."We applaud Chris' nomination as DEP secretary because he not only understands whatPennsylvania's local governments need from DEP, like stormwater and wastewater issues, but he alsounderstands what Pennsylvania needs from its leaders: reliability, honesty and integrity. Chris Abruzzo brings all of this and more to the table.''Paul King, president of thePennsylvania Environmental Council, issued the following statementsupporting both of Corbett's two nominees:"The Pennsylvania Environmental Council is pleased that Gov. Corbett has announced that he isappointing acting secretaries Abruzzo and Ferretti as permanent members of his cabinet."The PEC has worked well with both individuals and has found them committed to the missions
 
of the agencies. We appreciate Gov. Corbett naming two thoughtful stewards of the environment andwe look forward to continuing our work with them. Ellen Ferretti was a PEC vice president in our Wilkes-Barre office before joining DCNR. We encourage the Senate to approve both promptly at thiscritical time.''The nominations now go to the state Senate for its consideration.
NewsClips:
Corbett Nominates Secretaries To Head DEP, DCNR Ferretti Nominated To Head State Parks Agency
Citizens Advisory Council Hears Plans To Revamp DEP Public Participation Info
Acting Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Chris Abruzzo told DEP’sCitizens AdvisoryCouncilTuesday changes are underway at DEP to improve public participation in agency decisionmaking as a result of recommendations made by the Counciland others inside and outside thedepartment.Included in those changes is an overhaul of DEP’s website to gather all information on how the public can participate in the agency’s development of regulations, technical guidance and in permitting inone location, a better guide to public participation tools the citizens can use and using plain language todescribe regulation and policy changes.He invited the Council to look over his proposed plans saying he hoped to roll out the newwebsite changes in October. The Council’s Public Participation Committee volunteered to review thechanges.Acting Secretary Abruzzo also highlighted two other initiatives during his remarks to Council--updating the Chapter 78 drilling regulations and the agency’s Community Environmental Project Policy.He said DEP would not rush public comment on the proposed changes to Chapter 78 theEnvironmental Quality Board adopted for public comment in August, even though the law the changesare based on (Act 13) was passed 18 months ago. DEP will be scheduling six public hearings atregionally-appropriate locations throughout the state during a 60 day public comment period.He also noted DEP is revising itsCommunity Environmental Project Policyunder which theagency will, in some circumstances, accept the funding of worthwhile local, environmental projects inlieu of penalties paid to the state.The initial draft of the policy changes have been shared with DEP’s Environmental JusticeAdvisory Board and the CAC for review, but have not yet been circulated for general public comment.Acting Secretary Abruzzo noted a recent controversy over releasing a Penn State climatechange report in the press will be addressed shortly when the agency releases the complete reportwithout any deletions. He said he didn’t know why the report was held up before he assumed the roleof Acting Secretary.
Environmental Justice-CAC Discussion
The Council also held a first-ever joint meeting with DEP’sEnvironmental Justice AdvisoryBoardto discuss how the two advisory bodies could work together on public participation and other issues.During the first part of the meeting, the groups heard a presentation from Dr. Hector Ortiz,

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