PennFuture's law staff provides more than $2 million in low-cost legal services to citizens, fishing and hunting groups and conservation organizations throughout Pennsylvania so they can have a voice in decisions that impact their health and welfare and the environment. The law staff offers a wide range of services to its members and clients, including counseling, advocacy before state agencies, and representation in litigation to protect the public's right to a clean, healthy environment.
In many situations, PennFuture's law staff serves as a watchdog over regulatory agencies, filing comments and action letters to guarantee that Pennsylvania's environment and economy are protected to the fullest extent of the law. Please see our legal Comments and Action Letters page (link on the right side of this page) for a compilation of those activities.
In other cases, we file court actions to force legal compliance from polluters. The list lower on this page outlines all court cases we are currently undertaking.
Past and present clients have included the Pennsylvania Chapter of Trout Unlimited, the Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs Inc., the National Audubon Society, the Pennsylvania Chapter of the Sierra Club, numerous watershed associations, and citizen action groups. If you have an environmental legal problem you would like PennFuture to consider, send us a Request for Legal Assistance using the link in the right column of any page within the legal area of our website.
|Appeal of “frac salt” beneficial use General Permit WMGR128||
Rescission of residual waste General Permit No. WMGR128, issued by DEP on Aug. 13, 2012 (More Details)
|Appeal of NPDES Permit No. PAG130031 authorizing discharge from Upper Gwynedd Township’s MS4 system||
To challenge Pennsylvania DEP's authorization of municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) discharge under a general permit without sufficient public participation and without adequate assurance that the permit is consistent with the requirements contained in the municipality's wasteload allocation (WLA) in an approved total maximum daily load (TMDL) report. (More Details)
|Braverman v. Marsteller||
To abate the nuisance from the Marsteller property and restore the ability of our clients to fully utilize their properties. (More Details)
|Mount Pocono Municipal Authority||
Force municipal sewage treatment facility to comply with its permitted temperature limits for a discharge of treated sewage to Forest Hills Run, a high-quality, cold water fishery. (More Details)
|New Hope Crushed Stone Quarry Appeal||
Challenge permit revision granted by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection authorizing New Hope Crushed Stone & Lime Co. to increase the depth of the New Hope Crushed Stone Quarry without imposing conditions or requirements to address impairments to Primrose Creek that the Department had formally identified in 2010. (More Details)
|PennFuture v. DCNR and Anadarko||
Public release by DCNR of Anadarko's March, 2012 proposed gas development plan for the "Clarence Moore" lands of the Loyalsock State Forest (More Details)
|Pennsylvania Coal Mine Bonding Program -- 1999 Citizen Suit||
To ensure that Pennsylvania's bonding program meets minimum federal standards for guaranteeing reclamation of the land and perpetual treatment of post-mining discharges of acid mine drainage pollution. (More Details)
|Pennsylvania Coal Mine Bonding Program -- Review of Federal Agency Actions||
Ensure that Pennsylvania's bonding program for coal mines meets the minimum standards of federal law, and specifically the requirement of 30 C.F.R. § 800.11(e)(1) that an alternative bonding system "must assure that the regulatory authority will have available sufficient money to complete the reclamation plan for any areas which may be in default at any time." (More Details)
|Pennsylvania Coal Mine Bonding Program – ABS Program Amendment||
Ensure that Pennsylvania's bonding program for coal mines meets the minimum standards of federal law, and specifically the requirements of 30 C.F.R. § 800.11(e)(1), as interpreted in the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals in PFSC v. Kempthorne, 497 F.3d 337 (3d Cir. 2007). (More Details)
|Peoples/Equitable Gas Merger||
Peoples and Equitable filed an application to merge with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC). The resulting utility would be the largest gas distributor in the state. Currently, Pennsylvania has no energy efficiency standards for gas. PennFuture has intervened to demonstrate how the companies should be required to employ gas energy efficiency standards and how utilization of these standards will be for the good of the public. (More Details)
|Petition Before Public Utility Commission to Initiate Proceedings to Extend Commission’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Program||
PennFuture is asking the PUC to initiate a proceeding that will result in extension of the energy efficiency and conservation program beyond May 2013. (More Details)
|Philadelphia Rate Proceeding||
Defend stormwater rate design proposed by Philadelphia Water Department, which is largely consistent with the recommendations of Next Great City. Offer recommendations to further enhance that design. (More Details)
|Pittsburgh Strip District Stormwater Case||
Compel the Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority and the City of Pittsburgh to enforce the city's stormwater ordinance against the Buncher Company in its development of an important Strip District project between 11th Street and 21st Street. (More Details)
|Solar Access Protection Enforcement Case||
|Sunshine Act Violations by the Health Department||
This lawsuit seeks declaratory relief for repeated failures by the Allegheny County Health Department to comply with the requirements of Pennsylvania's Sunshine Law, specifically, the Department's failures to include the subject matter of citizens' testimony in its published meeting minutes. (More Details)
|Ultra Resources, Marshlands Play||
This lawsuit was brought under the Clean Air Act, and seeks declaratory and injunctive relief and civil penalties for a gas drilling company's failure to obtain a required "New Source Review" permit before constructing and operating a network of gas wells, pipelines and compressor stations that are a linked to a single hub and operate as a single source. The facilities are located across a 558-square mile area. (More Details)
Help Pennsylvania celebrate Earth Day (Part 1 of 2)
Historic preservation tax credits now available
DEP's recommendations on 111(d): An EPA watcher's guide.
A Climate for Change
Are methane emissions from natural gas wells a bigger problem than previously thought?
Paddle time is back
A Bear in the Woods
The Curious Case of DCNR's Streambed Leases