Auditor General DePasquale Calls for State-Level Action on Climate Change to Save Lives, Prepare for Rising Costs

March 28 2019
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Auditor General DePasquale Calls for State-Level Action on Climate Change to Save Lives, Prepare for Rising Costs  

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PITTSBURGH (March 28, 2019) – At his second public hearing on the climate change crisis, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale today warned that a lack of action on the federal level means that Pennsylvania must do more to be prepared.

“The climate crisis will impact public health and safety, disrupt our economy and create new burdens on taxpayers,” DePasquale said. “In light of how little serious work is being done about the crisis at the national level, it’s up to states to 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 Point Park University. Witnesses scheduled to testify included:

  • Paul Hennigan, Point Park University President
  • Costa Samaras, Associate Professor, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Paul Reinert, IBEW No. 5
  • Tom Schuster, Sierra Club
  • Lucy de Barbaro & Alison Steele, Conservation Consultants, Inc.
  • Joseph Boward, PA Society of Professional Engineers
  • Marc Mondor, president-elect, AIA Pennsylvania
  • Cheryl Moon-Sirianni, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation


“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.

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

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