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House Budget Hearing: Acting DEP Secretary Outlines His Views On Environmental Justice, Announces Fernando TreviƱo As Special Deputy For Environmental Justice

On March 23, Acting DEP Secretary Richard Negrin outlined his views on environmental justice and announced he has named Fernando Treviño to the new position of Special Deputy Secretary for Environmental Justice.

His comments were made during the House Appropriations Committee hearing on DEP’s FY 2023-24 budget request.

In response to a question from Rep. La’Tasha Mayes (D-Allegheny) on environmental justice, who pointed out her district meets the DEP definition of an environmental justice area, Acting Secretary Negrin said, “I have a very broad view on environmental justice.

“I think when I was out in Darlington, [Beaver County] Pennsylvania [near site of Norfolk Southern train derailment] ... that's an environmental justice community.

“I'm sitting there talking to poor white, rural folks who don't have cable, who rely on their neighbors for their news, largely.

‘The community where I was, outside of Pittsburgh, where that abandoned [natural gas] well [that DEP was plugging] was literally about 25, 30 yards from their front door, that's an environmental justice community.

“We need to take that expansive view.

“In the past ... and I think the White House doesn't even do this the way they should,  Environmental justice just can't be about communities of color.

“They are, and they need to be, and that's important for us to have that conversation, especially about systemic racism and the environmental side that's been going on for many, many years, but we need to take a broad view in Pennsylvania around environmental justice in a way that brings all of us along.

“Environmental justice is not just an issue for those of us who are people of color. It's an issue for the poor and rural and those farmers and those communities that we face.

“One of the things I'm doing, and I'll be quiet because I know I'm talking too long, is I've elevated it to a Deputy Secretary position.

“Fernando Treviño, who has just started, who's been a community engagement professional for a very, very long time, is going to be leading that office for me.

“I'm going to put a coordinator around environmental justice in every single regional office of DEP across the entire state, in six of our offices, full-time employees.

“I'm going to have two of them that are floaters and target specific communities like the Asian community that really hasn't been outreached to in a meaningful way around environmental justice.

“A Latino community that has not been really talked to. Looking at everything from language access, to education, the home energy stuff that we're talking about around energy efficiency.

“If we're not informing, educating and empowering folks to utilize those grants, we're leaving those dollars on the table and we all need to be having those conversations.”

Fernando Treviño

Fernando Treviño is DEP’s new Special Deputy for Environmental Justice. His work focuses on ensuring the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people with the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental policies, regulation, and laws; as well as with respect to the identification of environmental issues that affect the most vulnerable communities.

Treviño has focused his entire career on working with vulnerable and underrepresented communities, advocating for immigrants’ rights, and empowering communities of color to have a voice in the political process and government.

 He joins DEP after having served as Pennsylvania State Director for NDRC and Pennsylvania Director of Constituency Outreach and Partnerships for For Our Future.

He also served as Deputy Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant and Multicultural Affairs in Philadelphia, where, among other responsibilities, managed the City’s Language Access Program and acted as the Mayor’s liaison to the Commission on African and Caribbean Immigrant Affairs, Commission on Asian-American Affairs, and other diverse coalitions.

Treviño graduated from the UANL School of Law in Mexico, and received a postgraduate certification on International and Comparative Law at Temple University’s James E. Beasley School of Law.

Visit DEP’s Office of Environmental Justice webpage for more information.

Click Here for a video of the House Budget Hearing.

(Photos: Acting Secretary Negrin and Fernando Treviño.)

Resource Links:

-- Click Here for DCNR’s written budget testimony.

-- DCNR Posts FY 2023-24 Budget Proposal Documents

-- Click Here for a copy of DEP’s Budget Testimony.

-- 10 Point Plan For Improving Permit Review Efficiency

-- DEP Posts Documents On Proposed FY 2023-24 Agency Budget Request

-- Click Here for a copy of the expanded Proposed Budget In Brief.

-- Click Here for Gov. Shapiro’s Budget Address as prepared.

-- Click Here for a video of the House Budget Hearing.

-- Senate Budget Hearing Videos + Written Testimony

Related Articles This Week - Budget:

-- DEP Offers 10 Point Plan To Improve Permit Reviews; Climate/Energy Work Group Co-Chairs Announced; Work Group Formed To Prevent New Oil & Gas Well Abandonments  [PaEN]

-- House Budget Hearing: Acting DEP Secretary Outlines His Views On Environmental Justice, Announces Fernando Treviño As Special Deputy For Environmental Justice  [PaEN]

-- DEP Acting Secretary Negrin Wants To Encourage A Culture Of Being User-Friendly At DEP And Used The Train Derailment Response As An Example  [PaEN]  

-- DEP Acting Secretary Negrin: All Climate Change Is Local - We Are Guardians Of Our Neighborhoods, We Are To Act In Service To Our Neighbors  [PaEN]

-- DEP Projects Over $1.5 Million Deficit In Account Funding Oil & Gas Regulation Program In FY 2023-24  [PaEN]

-- DEP Budget Testimony: Increasing Permitting Efficiency, Cleaning Up Legacy Pollution, Investing In Communities, Holding Companies Accountable  [PaEN]

-- Former DEP Secretaries Invited To Share Their Experiences Protecting Pennsylvania's Environment With Acting Secretary Negrin  [PaEN]

-- Senate Republicans Again Suggest DCNR Allow More Natural Gas Drilling To Fund Park/Forest Operations; New Hellbender License Plate Coming In June  [PaEN]

-- DCNR Budget Testimony: Supporting PA’s Outdoor Recreation Industry, Conserving Natural Resources [PaEN]

-- Agriculture Budget Testimony: Budget Proposal Supports Agriculture Economy; Land & Water Stewardship; Organic Farming; Helps Deal With Threats To Food System  [PaEN]

-- Budget Refresher: Hearings Start March 21 For DCNR, DEP, Agriculture FY 2023-24 Budget Requests

[Posted: March 23, 2023]


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