Auditor calls for Pennsylvania to act on climate change

Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – In preparation for a special report, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale held his third of three hearings Monday on the impact of climate change in Pennsylvania.

DePasquale says he hasn’t seen enough being done on a national level, so he wants to urge state officials to prepare for the impacts.

During a hearing at Widener University’s Commonwealth Law School in Harrisburg, experts spoke about the economic and health impacts climate change has already had on Pennsylvania.

Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said climate change has already led to increased human health risks, including air pollution, diminished water quality, heat stress, asthma, and waterborne illnesses. She also said milder winters have led to an increase in ticks, and therefore a rise in things like Lyme disease and West Nile virus.

The hearings are also focused on the economic costs of climate change. 

“PennDOT has to take a big chunk of their money that should be going to fix roads and bridges but are dealing with mudslides because of severe storms. A lot of the severe flooding, that has a huge economic toll as well as the human cost,” DePasquale said. “We really want to get a grip on what Pennsylvania can do to try to address this.”

The auditor general’s special report is expected to be completed over the summer.

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