Friday, March 22, 2013

Michael Krancer stepping down as Pa's DEP secretary

Michael Krancer -Lehigh Valley News photo

In a news release today Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett today announced that Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Mike Krancer will step down April 15 to return home to Montgomery County and will resume the practice of law with Philadelphia-based  Blank Rome LLP.
 
No reason was given for Krancer's departure but there will be speculation that the governor, whose poll results have been desultory in recent months, is looking to reshape his image as he seeks re-election to a second, four-year term.
 
Krancer has been an unflinching supporter of the natural gas industry and other business development interests in the state and has clashed on several occasions with the federal Environmental Protection Agency and with state-based environmental organizations.

E. Christopher Abruzzo, deputy chief of staff for Governor Tom Corbett, will serve as acting secretary until Corbett names Krancer’s successor.
 
“Secretary Krancer has been an invaluable member of our team and I am grateful for his service,’’ Corbett said in the news release. “His impressive efforts at DEP have taken the agency back to basics, protecting the environment and making the permitting process more efficient.

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The governor's news release continued:
Corbett appointed Krancer to his cabinet in January 2011, where Krancer oversaw many major initiatives, including the reorganization of the agency, which created an Oil and Gas deputate and improved consistency statewide in enforcing that industry’s regulations. Krancer also oversaw the Permit Review Process and Permit Decision Guarantee, which have brought timeliness and consistency to the permitting process for all agency-regulated activities.

In April 2011, Krancer and the governor issued a call to Marcellus Shale operators to stop delivering shale gas drilling wastewater to plants that were not equipped to fully treat it, which resulted in a sea change overnight and improved the health of Pennsylvania’s waterways.

Krancer also made brownfields redevelopment and abandoned mine reclamation projects around the state a priority and oversaw the implementation of the Covered Device Recycling Act. Krancer and his agency were also instrumental in facilitating new investments and potential investments around the state, including his role in Governor Corbett’s team efforts to save the three southeastern Pennsylvania refineries and attract to them new environmentally responsible investors, employers and projects.
 
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