Auditor General DePasquale Calls for Pennsylvania to Act on Climate Change to Save Lives, Prepare for Higher Costs

May 13 2019
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Auditor General DePasquale Calls for Pennsylvania to Act on Climate Change to Save Lives, Prepare for Higher Costs  

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HARRISBURG (May 13, 2019) – Auditor General Eugene DePasquale today urged Pennsylvania to do more to prepare for the impacts of climate change due to a lack of meaningful action at the federal level.

“The climate crisis will impact public health and safety, disrupt our economy and create new burdens on taxpayers,” DePasquale said at his third public hearing on the topic. “In light of how little serious work is being done about the crisis at the national level, states must make certain they’re prepared for these potentially devastating impacts.”

DePasquale is developing a special report on state government’s response to climate change and steps that can better prepare the state for the future, noting that the problem will impact health, transportation and other infrastructure, agriculture, forestry, and tourism – among other issues.

Today’s hearing was held at Widener University’s Commonwealth Law School. Witnesses scheduled to testify included:

  • John Dernbach, Widener University Professor of Environmental Law and Sustainability
  • Randy Padfield, Acting Director, Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA)
  • David Buono, Jr., Consumer Liaison, PA Insurance Department
  • John Brosious, Deputy Director, Pennsylvania Municipal Authorities Association
  • Dr. Rachel Levine, Secretary, PA Department of Health
  • Allison Acevedo, Office of Environmental Justice Director, Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP)
  • Patricia Zapata, Organizing Program Assistant, CASA

“I want our state to be ready for what the federal government’s own experts say is already happening and what is yet to come,” DePasquale added, referencing a federal report issued last fall.

That report said that in the Northeast region, climate change poses threats to public health and safety from extreme heat and flooding; raises concerns about damage to aging power, water, sewer and transportation systems; and will impact rural communities, farming, forestry and tourism by altering ecosystems.

DePasquale’s special report is expected to be complete this summer. Learn more about the Department of the Auditor General online at

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