Mike Krancer (pictured above), the head of the state Department of Environmental Protection, will resign April 15 to return to private law practice in Montgomery County. (Pittsburgh Post-Gaztte)
HARRISBURG -- Mike Krancer, head of the state Department of Environmental Protection, will resign April 15 to return to private law practice in Montgomery County, Gov. Tom Corbett announced this morning.
"Secretary Krancer has been an invaluable member of our team and I am grateful for his service," Mr. Corbett said in a news releas "His impressive efforts at DEP have taken the agency back to basics, protecting the environment and making the permitting process more efficient.
Mr. Corbett appointed Mr. Krancer to his Cabinet in January 2011. Mr. Krancer oversaw many major initiatives, including the reorganization of the agency and improved consistency statewide in enforcing that industry's regulations, the governor said.
Mr. Krancer also oversaw the Permit Review Process and Permit Decision Guarantee, which the governor said have brought timeliness and consistency to the permitting process for all agency-regulated activities.
The DEP has 2,633 employees and a $655 million budget.
Mr. Krancer will rejoin his former law firm, Blank Rome LLP, an international law firm based in Philadelphia.
In addition to his previous legal work at Blank Rome, Mr. Krancer, 55, of Bryn Mawr, Montgomery County, served as a judge on the state's Environmental Hearing Board for 10 years, including four years as chief judge and chairman. He has also worked as an attorney for Exelon Corp.
A graduate of the University of Virginia, Krancer earned his law degree from Washington and Lee University.
"I appreciate Mike's unwavering commitment to this job, knowing that it took him away from spending quality time with his wife and children," Mr. Corbett said."While I am sorry to lose his expertise in the administration, I am glad this is an opportunity for him to go back home."
E. Christopher Abruzzo, deputy chief of staff for the governor, will serve as acting secretary. Mr. Abruzzo, who works closely with Mr. Krancer and the DEP staff in his position as deputy chief of staff, will hold both positions until a successor is named.
Mr. Krancer is the third Cabinet secretary to resign during the past several months.
The public welfare director, Gary Alexander, resigned last month.
And in October, Health Secretary Eli N. Avila quit his post after less than two years in the job.