by Lauren Daley
Mike Krancer, secretary of the state Department of Environmental Protection, will step down April 15.
“His guidance on a variety of issues related to the environment has been vital,” Gov. Tom Corbett said in a press release announcing the move. “DEP has been in good hands under his leadership.”
Krancer, a former assistant general counsel for energy firm Exelon Corp. and a former judge for the state's environmental hearing board, was a proponent of natural gas drilling and often touted its economic impacts. He's been a target of environmental and public health activists, who have criticized him for not being tough enough on natural gas drillers, disputing studies linking gas drilling to drinking water contamination and not fully disclosing waste-water contamination reports in the state.
E. Christopher Abruzzo, Corbett's deputy chief of staff, will serve as acting secretary until Corbett names a successor. Krancer will return to his Philadelphia-area lawfirm, Blank Rome LLP.
Updated 10:50 a.m.
We've received a statement from industry group Marcellus Shale Coalition CEO Kathryn Klaber:
"Secretary Krancer's constructiveness and pragmatism have served our Commonwealth well. Under his leadership, Pennsylvania has implemented world-class regulatory requirements for the industry, and responsible natural gas production has soared, resulting in more local jobs, cleaner air and strengthened American energy security. On behalf of our entire organization, we wish Secretary Krancer the very best in his future pursuits."