Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett has asked lawmakers to drop the word “acting” from the job titles of two state employees: the acting secretaries of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR).

On Friday, Corbett nominated E. Christopher Abruzzo and Ellen Ferretti to head the DEP and DCNR, respectively. The nominations must now be approved by the state Senate.

“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 Friday. “Each [embodies] 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 tapped Abruzzo, his deputy chief of staff, to serve as acting secretary of the DEP after Michael Krancer resigned to return to practice law in Philadelphia (see Shale Daily,March 25). Abruzzo has held both positions in the interim.

Meanwhile, Corbett asked Ferretti to lead the DCNR after the governor fired Richard Allan for reportedly using offensive language in email messages to disparage another state government employee (see Shale Daily, June 18). Ferretti was serving as deputy secretary for the DCNR’s parks and forestry division at the time of Allan’s ouster.

“We congratulate both acting secretary Ferretti and Abruzzo on their nominations to lead DCNR and DEP, respectively,” said Marcellus Shale Coalition CEO Kathryn Klaber. “Our industry looks forward to continuing to work constructively with them toward common sense policies aimed at safely developing shale resources and protecting our environment.”

Lou D’Amico, president of the Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association, could not be reached for comment Monday. A spokesperson for Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati (R-Brockway) did not return a phone call seeking comment.

The Pennsylvania Environmental Council endorsed both nominations on Friday, while the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors voiced support for Abruzzo’s nomination, and the Pennsylvania Growing Greener Coalition backed the nod to Ferretti.