HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Richard Negrin has resigned and is on medical leave until December 9, sources tell abc27’s Dennis Owens.

Negrin was Pennsylvania’s first Latino to be Secretary of Environmental Protection and previously served as the Vice President of Regulatory Policy and Strategy and head of external affairs at Commonwealth Edison.

He recently appeared with Governor Shapiro at an Oct. 18 event highlighting the administration’s work to cap and plug orphaned and abandoned oil and gas wells.

“I am humbled that Governor-Elect Shapiro has entrusted me with the great responsibility of leading this Administration’s efforts to protect our Commonwealth’s air, land, and water,” said Negrin after his nomination earlier this year. “As Secretary of Environmental Protection, I will work diligently to bring people together and ensure the Department works efficiently and we effectively serve all Pennsylvanians in pursuit of a safer, healthier future.”

Executive Deputy Secretary Jess Shirley will take over temporarily while the search for a permanent replacement continues.

Pennsylvania Department of General Services Secretary Curt Topper was joined by Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Policy Director Jessica Shirley today to officially launch the Commonwealth’s Hybrid/Electric Vehicles Pilot Program.

Shirley previously served as the Department’s Policy Director from May 2016 to April 2022 helping develop executive orders related to PFAS, climate change, energy conservation, sustainability in Commonwealth operations, and environmental justice. She has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Penn State and a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Political Science from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.