GOP Marcellus Regulations Weaken DEP’s Enforcement Tools

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We’ve mostly been focusing on the issues of how much a Marcellus Shale tax should raise, and who should get the revenue.

The GOP’s impact fee bill performs terribly by both of these measures, and via Jan Jarrett, you won’t be surprised to learn that the environmental regulations are awful too:

The third deadly sin:

The legislation treats gas drillers that violate Pennsylvania’s environmental laws differently from other industries in the state. Environmental laws that regulate every other industry in Pennsylvania prevent DEP from issuing permits to applicants if DEP finds that the applicant is violating the law elsewhere in the state. But under this bill, DEP cannot deny a permit to a driller even if they are violating the law at another site in the state, unless DEP takes a final action on those other violations. That requirement does not apply to any other industry in Pennsylvania, and it severely limits an important tool that DEP has used throughout the years to leverage a company’s desire for a permit to ensuring compliance with the law across the state.

Go read the whole thing.

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