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Quigley confirmed as DEP secretary

John Quigley was confirmed as DEP secretary Wednesday.

Marie Cusick/ StateImpact Pennsylvania

John Quigley was confirmed as DEP secretary Wednesday.

The state senate confirmed Governor Wolf’s nominee, John Quigley, to head the state Department of Environmental Protection Wednesday in a 44-4 vote.

Quigley has served as acting DEP secretary since January. He previously headed the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) during the Rendell administration.

During his confirmation hearing Tuesday, some Republican senators raised concerns about his views on Marcellus Shale drilling. Some viewed Quigley’s past statements as being overly critical of the gas industry and worried whether he will impose burdensome regulations that will stifle business.

Quigley says he wants to work cooperatively with the industry and see drillers be successful, and is currently focused on building a task force to address the boom in gas pipelines. The DEP is also in the midst of making major updates to the regulations that govern oil and gas drilling. That process has been criticized by drillers because the DEP added representatives from environmental groups and academia to its oil and gas advisory group. Quigley argues the more people who review the department’s work, the better.

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