Friday, May 20, 2016

DEP Secretary John Quigley Resigns, Wolf Names Patrick McDonnell Acting Secretary

Gov. Tom Wolf Friday accepted the resignation of John Quigley as Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection. Patrick McDonnell will serve as the Acting Secretary of the department.
“I thank John Quigley for his service to the Commonwealth, and I look forward to working with Patrick McDonnell while he serves as Acting Secretary,” said Gov. Wolf.
Gov. Wolf named Quigley Secretary of DEP as one of his first appointments in January of 2015.
John Yudichak (D-Luzerne), Minority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, had this to say on Quigley’s resignation, “Gov. Wolf made a quick and appropriate decision in accepting the resignation of DEP Secretary John Quigley.
“Secretary Quigley demonstrated poor judgment and a clear inability to work with legislators to advance the governor’s environmental agenda.
“I look forward to working with interim Secretary Patrick McDonnell and the Republican and Democrat members of the General Assembly to put this matter behind us and move forward on the important matters before the Environmental and Energy Resource Committee like the Clean Energy Plan and Chapter 78 regulations governing the oil and gas industry.”
In other comments...
“There is no doubt Secretary Quigley was a tireless advocate for the environment and for the survival of DEP as an effective agency, something it is on the edge of losing these days,” said former DEP Secretary David Hess.  “He raised uncomfortable questions many people did not want to face about the kinds of environmental protection programs we want going forward as a Commonwealth.
“That job is tough, especially in this day and age,” added Hess. “Could he have made different decisions here or there or approached some issues or legislators from a different direction, sure, but the key-- as Theodore Roosevelt said-- he was the man in the arena.”
As reported previously by PA Environment Digest, discussions are still reportedly ongoing between House and Senate Republicans and other legislators and the Wolf Administration on whether a deal could be reached to avoid a votes on legislation to undermine both the Chapter 78 (conventional) and Chapter 78a (unconventional) drilling regulations and the state’s approach to the EPA Clean Power Climate Plan requirement, both of which Quigley advocated for as priorities of the Wolf Administration.
From 2009 to 2011, John Quigley served as secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
He was instrumental in creating a national model — an advanced, collaborative, interagency approach to recreation, conservation, and community enhancement around specific regional landscapes.
He also led the efforts that re-engineered DCNR’s grant program, creating a user-friendly, efficient online system that emphasizes green practices.
Quigley also oversaw the completion of the country’s first high resolution digital statewide map (PAMAP) which is being used extensively by energy companies and other businesses, public safety agencies, planners, state agencies, and by the federal government in updating statewide floodplain maps.
Quigley is currently the principal of John H Quigley LLC. From 2009 to 2011, Quigley served as secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
Prior to his appointment as secretary, he worked for DCNR in several capacities, including overseeing strategic initiatives and operations, and as chief of staff.
Quigley has had a diverse career in the nonprofit, public, and private sectors, including eight years as the mayor of the City of Hazleton, government relations manager with Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future, and management positions with industry-leading companies.
He is a graduate of Bloomsburg University with a degree in economics, and holds a Master of Public Administration degree from Lehigh University.
Patrick McDonnell
Patrick McDonnell was most recently the director of policy for the Department
of Environmental Protection, where he oversaw the agency’s regulation and policy development processes.
In addition, Mr. McDonnell ran the State Energy Office and was charged with coordination of renewable energy and energy efficiency issues.
Prior to returning to DEP, Mr. McDonnell was executive policy manager for former Commissioner Pamela A. Witmer of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, focusing on electric, natural gas and water issues as well as cybersecurity and the impact of environmental regulation on energy markets.
Previously, Mr. McDonnell spent 13 years with DEP in a variety of roles. As deputy secretary for administration, he managed the budget, human resources, information technology and oversaw the facilities management functions of the agency.
He also previously served as policy director and as an assistant to the special deputy secretary. He began his career at DEP working in the State Energy Office on energy efficiency, renewable energy, and green building projects.
Mr. McDonnell received his Master’s degree in Political Science from Lehigh University and his Bachelor’s Degree in Politics from DeSales University.

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