Senate OKs Yaw Bill Renaming State Agency

HARRISBURG – The state Senate today approved legislation to change the name of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), according to Sen. Gene Yaw (R-23), chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee and prime sponsor of the bill.

Senate Bill 691 will change the name of the DEP to the Department of Environmental Services and have no effect on the jurisdiction or current statutory or regulatory authority of the department.

“Rather than being a partner and an environmental steward, DEP has become known as an enforcer and an intimidator,” Yaw said. “Acting as a regulatory bully has compromised the open and working relationship the department once had with the people it serves. Shifting the focus to services will be a step forward in implementing a much-needed culture change at the department.”

The DEP’s mission is to work as partners with individuals, organizations, government, and businesses to prevent pollution and restore our natural resources. As an administrative agency created by the General Assembly, DEP is charged with administering the laws of the Commonwealth. The General Assembly, through these legislative enactments, is responsible for ensuring the protection of the Commonwealth’s environment and natural resources.

The bill now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.

For more state-related news and information, constituents can visit Senator Yaw’s website at or follow him on Facebook and Twitter @SenatorGeneYaw.

Elizabeth Weitzel

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