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Citizens Advisory Council

The Citizens Advisory Council (CAC) to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) was legislatively created in 1971. This legislation, which created the original Department of Environmental Resources, gave the CAC the following charges:

  • The council shall review all environmental laws of the commonwealth and make appropriate suggestions for the revision, modification and codification thereof.
  • The council shall consider, study, and review the work of the Department of Environmental Protection and for this purpose, the council shall have access to all books, papers, documents, and records pertaining or belonging to the department.
  • The council shall advise the department, on request, and shall make recommendations upon its initiative, for the improvement of the work of the department.
  • The council shall report annually to the governor and to the general assembly and may make such interim reports as are deemed advisable

The 1992 amendments to Pennsylvania's Air Pollution Control Act added to these charges by requiring DEP to consult with the CAC in developing state implementation plans and regulations to implement the federal Clean Air Act.

Five CAC members are elected to serve as the only citizen, non-governmental representatives to the 20-member Environmental Quality Board, the independent board that adopts all of DEP's regulations. In addition, four CAC members are elected to serve on the Mining and Reclamation Advisory Board and the Aggregate Advisory Board, respectively. CAC members also sits on the Radiation Protection Advisory Committee, Air Quality Technical Advisory Committee, Low-Level Radioactive Waste Advisory Committee and the Solid Waste Advisory Committee.

Council Composition

19 Members - 18 appointed volunteers who are citizens of the commonwealth, who during their respective terms shall hold no other state office to which any salary is attached except that of membership on the Environmental Quality Board. Six each are appointed by the governor, the president pro tempore of the senate, and the speaker of the house of representatives; no more than three from each appointing authority may be of the same political party. Because the appointments originate from different authorities, the council's membership is diverse, not only geographically, but politically and professionally as well. The secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection also serves as a member.

Council Staff

The Department of Environmental Protection provides an Executive Director to serve as a liaison between the Council and the Department. The Executive Director also assists the Council with its administrative functions. The Council has the statutory authority to hire experts, stenographers, and assistants as may be deemed necessary to carry its work. For more information write to the Council at PO Box 8459, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8459, e-mail Ian Irvin, call 717-579-0329 or fax 717-705-4980.


The council meets monthly, except for August and December, or at the call of the chair. Meetings of the council are open to the public.

Bylaws of the Citizens Advisory Council (PDF)