By Kim Glovas

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — The head of Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection is stepping down April 15th, and many environmentalists are happy to see him go.

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The Sierra Club and Penn Environment are two of many environmental organizations that are hoping the governor picks a new secretary better committed to protecting the environment and the people who live in the state.

David Masur of Penn Environment believes that departing secretary Michael Krancer (photo) was more interested in helping polluters than the public.

“There’ll be a lot of criticisms that he spent more time advocating for powerful interests who have a lot of access and influence in the state capitol in Harrisburg than being an advocate and watchdog for environments,” Masur said today.

He says that during recent state House and Senate hearings, Krancer balked at answering questions linking pollution to climate change.

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But the Corbett administration thinks Krancer did just fine during his tenure.

“Michael Krancer did a great job protecting the environment since Krancer was over at the DEP,” Eric Shirk, a spokesman for the governor’s office, told KYW Newsradio today.

Corbett will have final say on a new DEP chief.

“We’re going to make sure that we get the best person for the job,” says Shirk, the governor’s spokesman, “someone who can lead a large agency and continue the mission of protecting our environment.”

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