Editor's Note: This story was updated at 4:05 a.m. to include response from the DEP.
The chairman of the state’s Democratic Policy committee on Thursday struck back against a state Department of Environmental Protection spokeswoman who told a newspaper that Secretary Michael Krancer would not participate in a local meeting, likening it to “political theater.”
“I thought on a subject like clean water, where hopefully, the Policy Committee and DEP have a common purpose, that the DEP would welcome the opportunity to let the public and Legislature know what is currently being done to protect Pennsylvanians, Chairman P. Michael Sturla wrote in a letter to DEP spokeswoman Katherine Gresh and dated Thursday that was obtained by Canon-McMillan Patch. “However, it would appear from your comments as DEP spokesperson that you perceive transparency as political theater, which is quite unfortunately for the citizens of the Commonwealth that you are charged to serve.”
Gresh’s comments were sparked by a press release issued by state Rep. Jesse White, D-Cecil, on Thursday in which he criticized Krancer’s decision not to attend a policy committee hearing that involves environmental testing near Marcellus Shale drilling sites.
The hearing will be held in Washington on Tuesday.
Emailed for comment, Gresh declined.
In his letter, Sturla also noted that Krancer had twice before attended hearings—and that both times the subject involved Marcellus Shale.