Confirmation hearing set for DEP nominee

    Gov. Tom Corbett’s nominee to head Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection will go before a Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday. The cabinet-level nominee will likely be confirmed, but he’s expected to face a number of challenges.

    For more than 10 years, Michael Krancer served as a judge on Pennsylvania’s Environmental Hearing Board where he wrote more than 100 decisions. Before that, Krancer worked as a commercial litigator for several Philadelphia law firms, primarily representing industry against government lawsuits.

    Krancer comes to the position at a boom time for natural gas drilling in the state. And one of his chief roles as head of DEP will be to enforce the rules and regulations governing the industry.

    Bob Wendelgass, president of Clean Water Action., said that, as a judge on the hearing board, Krancer had a good reputation for following the rule of law. But, he said, the DEP has faced tough budget cuts recently.

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    “So there’s lots of challenges that he’s facing,” said Wendelgass. “And in a period of very tight resources, I think it’s going to be a very difficult juggling act to get everything done that he needs to get done with the limited resources that he currently has.”

    Wendelgass says the DEP core budget has been cut in half over eight years.

    Through a representative, Krancer said he won’t give interviews until he is confirmed.


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