Distinguished Speaker E Christopher Abruzzo ’92 Delivers Environmental Law Talk
Harrisburg Web Correspondent and Web Editor - Published: March 20, 2014

Distinguished Professor John C. Dernbach and E. Christopher Abruzzo '92

The Environmental Law Center welcomed E. Christopher Abruzzo ‘92, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, to the Harrisburg campus on Tuesday, March 18th. Abruzzo, the first speaker in this year’s Environmental Law Distinguished Speaker Series, presented “Environmental Priorities and Accomplishments of the Corbett Administration.

Abruzzo spoke about the mission statement of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and observed that the best public policy is “forged when we have true environmental protection.” He discussed the new DEP website that promotes more public participation and encourages members of the public to open a dialogue with the department.

The talk also examined Governor Corbett’s commitment to a state energy plan that will create jobs. Abruzzo also touched on the 2012 Gas Act, governmental efforts to safely develop natural gas production through the Marcellus Shale project, efforts to improve Pennsylvania’s air quality, and water supply testing.

The event was also broadcast to an audience on the Delaware campus.

E. Christopher Abruzzo was confirmed as Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection in December of 2013 after serving in that position on an interim basis since April of 2012. A member of the first graduating class from Widener Law’s Harrisburg campus, he prieviously served as deputy chief of staff to Governor Corbett.

Prior to his work for the Governor’s office, Abruzzo served as a chief deputy attorney general in the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, supervising the drug strike force section. He oversaw all drug-related prosecutions conducted by the Attorney General’s Office in Pennsylvania. The work included grand jury and wiretap investigations and he was the office’s principal legal adviser on electronic surveillance and wiretap applications.

Two additional talks in the Environmental Law Distinguished Speaker series are planned:
  • Thursday, March 27, noon. – Professor Hope M. Babcock of Georgetown Law on “A Dystopian Dance – the Dysfunctional Coupling of the Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit in Environmental Cases,” in the Alfred Avins Special Collection Library Room in the Main Law Building on the Delaware campus at 4601 Concord Pike, Wilmington. This will be teleconferenced to room 205 in the classroom building on the Harrisburg campus.

  • Tuesday, April 8, 4 p.m. – Professor Zygmunt J.B. Plater of Boston College Law School on “TVA v. Hill: A Little Fish in a Pork Barrel,” room A180 of the administration building on the Harrisburg campus, 3737 Vartan Way. This will be teleconferenced to the Alfred Avins Special Collection Library Room on the Delaware campus.