Pa. environmental chief calls agency 'emaciated'

Written by The Associated Press | Mar 25, 2016 12:19 PM

Photo by Ben Allen/witf

Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection John Quigley listens to public comments at the first of 14 hearings on the state's clean power plan in Harrisburg.

(Wilkes-Barre) -- Pennsylvania's top environmental regulator says his agency has been ``severely compromised'' by years of inadequate funding.

Environmental Protection Secretary John Quigley told the editorial board of The (Wilkes-Barre) Citizens' Voice on Thursday that his agency is ``emaciated'' and lacks the staff to ``support our mission'' of safeguarding the environment.

Quigley says DEP has lost 14 percent of its workforce in recent years, including at least half of its permit writers and inspectors.

The environmental chief says his boss, first-term Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, inherited the problems and is making accommodations for DEP in the next budget.

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