Wolf's Environmental Protection Secretary To Depart Agency

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A cabinet secretary who helped shepherd Pennsylvania's entry into a regional carbon pricing program to combat climate change is leaving the administration of Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf.

The governor said Monday that Environmental Protection Secretary Patrick McDonnell will be replaced in July by Ramez Ziadeh.

McDonnell was deeply involved in the state's entry into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which imposes a cost for emitting planet-warming carbon dioxide from fossil fuel-fired power plants. The move is being challenged in court by Republican lawmakers and coal interests.

McDonnell began working at the Department of Environmental Protection in 1998 and has been secretary since 2016.

Ziadeh has been a deputy secretary at the agency and led its waterways engineering and wetlands bureau. He's been with the agency since 1994.