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Corbett Nominates Agency Heads for DEP, DCNR

Governor Corbett has nominated E. Christopher Abruzzo as Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection, and Ellen M. Ferretti as Secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
Abruzzo, of Hershey, Dauphin County, was serving as Corbett’s deputy chief of staff until he was appointed interim secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection in April.  Ferretti, of Dallas, Luzerne County, had been serving as deputy secretary for parks and forestry until she was named interim secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources in June.
“Christopher and Ellen have served several months in the capacity of acting secretary of their respective departments, and in both cases we have seen each of them earn the respect of people both inside and outside of the agencies,” Corbett said. “Each embody the commitment and dedication to protecting and conserving our environment and natural resources, which is a top priority of my administration and the people of Pennsylvania.”
Corbett said, “Chris has served the citizens of Pennsylvania with distinction, both as a prosecuting attorney and as a member of my executive staff. As deputy chief of staff, Chris played instrumental roles in many of my environmental initiatives, including enhanced protective standards for oil and gas development, implementing the permit decision guarantee, and refocusing the agency on job number one: protecting the environment. The citizens of Pennsylvania will continue to benefit from his pragmatic, balanced approach to problem-solving.”
“Ellen has devoted much of her career toward the development, promotion and protection of our state parks and forest lands. That experience and insight will make her an excellent secretary,” Corbett said. “She understands the unique qualities of our state park and forest systems. I am confident the citizens of Pennsylvania will benefit from her continued stewardship of our public lands.”
Ferretti has more than 20 years of experience in natural resources, as the Pennsylvania Environmental Council’s director of its northeast regional office, where she worked closely with DCNR and its partners on landscape conservation, and her work as director of Environmental Resources at Borton-Lawson Engineering.  Ferretti also worked as a land protection specialist for The Nature Conservancy and was project manager at Westinghouse Environmental and Geotechnical Services, Inc.
Ferretti is a graduate of Wilkes College with a degree in environmental science and biology.

As Corbett’s deputy chief of staff, Abruzzo, 46, had oversight of several state agencies and commissions, including DEP and DCNR. His 20 years of public service includes prior assignments in the state Attorney General’s office prosecuting and supervising cases involving white collar crime, drug investigation and Medicaid fraud.
Abruzzo has six years of service on the Derry Township Board of Supervisors and the Derry Township Municipal Authority.  While chairman of the authority in 2010 and 2011, Abruzzo was instrumental in directing the township’s response to flooding caused by catastrophic storm events Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.
A graduate of St. Joseph’s University, Abruzzo earned his law degree from the Widener University School of Law.
The nominations now go to the state Senate for hearings and further consideration.