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Thomas K. Fidler

B.S. Forest Science, 1972; and M.S. Forest Resources, 1974

Thomas K. Fidler earned a B.S. in Forest Science in 1972, and M.S. in Forest Resources in 1974 with an emphasis on watershed management under the direction of Professor Peter Fletcher. 

Tom spent 35 years working in various program areas in the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP; formerly known as the Department of Environmental Resources when he began his career in 1974).  He contributed to the establishment of policies, regulations and laws for legislative consideration in the areas of both land and water management.  He completed the last several years of his career as a Deputy Secretary of DEP overseeing the Commonwealth's Waste Management, Air Quality, and Radiation Protection programs.  He was responsible for the spending from some of the largest special funds in the agency, managed more than 250 staff, and directed the policy, regulatory development, and implementation of these programs. 

For 10 years, Tom directed the nationally recognized and award-winning Land Recycling program.  This program facilitated the cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated properties, thereby preserving open space and stemming sprawl development in the State.  He served as a presenter at numerous national brownfields conferences and worked with legislative leaders in Indiana and Kentucky to establish similar initiatives.  He led the efforts of the Commonwealth’s Brownfields Action Team in facilitating the remediation and permitting the useful redevelopment of abandoned industrial and mined properties.  The Commonwealth's program served as a model in the development of the federal brownfields program.

As the assistant to the deputy secretaries for field operations and water management, he worked to achieve consistency in policy implementation in the issuance of permits and enforcement inspections, and he coordinated new policy development to guide wetland protection and mitigation.

He worked as a planner in the Commonwealth's coastal land and water resources management program;  developed a water conservation program for the Commonwealth and directed its implementation;  and assisted in the development of the State Water Plan and the policies guiding water withdrawals within the state.

Tom conducted the studies, developed the reports, and fostered the legislative support for the designation of Pine Creek in northcentral Pennsylvania as a state Scenic River and Stony Creek in southcental Pennsylvania as a State Wild River.

He was a member of the team charged with the major reorganization of the Department of Environmental Resources in 1990.

He worked with the many water interests (e.g. farming, power generation, water supply) and legislative leaders in drafting water management legislation that served as the model for the legislation in place today.

Tom has received a number of awards for performance excellence from DEP and EPA, and he is an honorably discharged officer from the Army Corps of Engineers.

In addition to his statewide service, Tom has served on the environmental advisory council and zoning hearing board of his township (West Hanover Township, Dauphin County).  He is also very active in his church, having served on the Leadership Committee and Trustee Board.

Tom continues to enjoy time spent outdoors in retirement and cultivates and sells Christmas trees from his farm near Harrisburg.  He is a life member of the Harrisburg Hunters and Anglers Association, and whenever he can, hunts elk in the West and deer on his farm with his bow.  He and his wife Lauree have three children and two grandchildren and reside just east of Harrisburg.