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PennFuture's Rob Altenburg appointed to DEP committee

One of Pennsylvania’s foremost experts in air quality issues just got another accolade to add to an already-impressive resume. 

Rob Altenburg, the director of the PennFuture Energy Center, has previously been invited to testify before the state legislature, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the White House. Now, he’s taking his talents back to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the same agency where Rob started his career nearly three decades ago. 

Effective July 1st, DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell appointed Rob to a two-year term on the agency’s Air Quality Technical Advisory Committee. In that role, Rob will provide input on regulatory packages and other key proposals from the department’s Bureau of Air Quality. 

This won’t be his first interaction with the DEP. Rob’s first environmental job was with the Bureau of Air Quality, working on new rules to implement the 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act. 

He focused on calculating and predicting emissions from factories, vehicles, and off-road equipment and was soon working on computer models to predict concentrations of air pollutants. For years, Rob was the primary forecaster for the south central and Lehigh Valley regions of Pennsylvania, deciding if certain days met the parameters for air quality action days. 

Rob attended law school in the evenings while working full time and, after graduation, became an executive policy specialist in DEP’s policy office. In that role he advised the governor’s office and executive staff on a variety of environmental and public health issues and worked to improve public participation in the department’s decision-making. 

In response to his appointment, Rob said he was happy and proud to be given the chance to give back to the agency that gave him a start in the environmental world. 

“I was very happy to hear from Secretary McDonnell that I’ve been appointed to serve on the Air Quality Technical Advisory Committee,” he said. “My first environmental job was with the DEP 27 years ago, so I’m proud to be able to give something back.”

We here at PennFuture applaud Rob, and we can’t wait to see his great work continue with the DEP.

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