The Latest in Environment

Environment Legislation

PennFuture joined Clean Air Council, Mountain Watershed Association, and Fair Shake Environmental Legal Services in filing an amicus brief in Commonwealth Court to support Rockhill Township's position that the Environmental Hearing Board (Board) erred as a matter of law in misconstruing precedent of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in concluding the Board lacked jurisdiction over the appeal.  This error has broad and likely unintended implications in federalizing control over state regulatory decisions and the de novo review framework for appeal of Departmental decisions.

PennFuture joined environmental nonprofits in filing an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit raising concerns with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's use of "tolling orders" that nominally grant rehearings "for the limimited purpose of further consideration." These tolling orders effectively lock requesters out of court.

Earthjustice filed a complaint on behalf of Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future, Gasp, Louisiana Bucket Brigade, and Sierra Club, sued the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for improperly regulating coke ovens – producers of known carcinogens – thus failing to protect communities throughout the country. Over a decade ago, EPA found that carcinogenic emissions from coke ovens destroy air quality and cause devastating health complications, yet plaintiffs in the case argue the agency failed to act to protect nearby communities from this threat.

Environment Policies

Introduced: Rep. Jonathan Fritz (R)
House Resolution urging the Delaware River Basin Commission to suspend consideration of a moratorium on natural gas drilling in the Delaware River Basin.

More Information:
PennFuture Letter of Opposition (October 2017)

Introduced: Sen. Gene Yaw (R)
Surgical change to Pennsylvanias Sewage Facilities Act (Act 537) to allow for on-lot alternative sewage systems in municipal sewage planning. Currently, Act 537 is interpreted as not allowing alternative systems in site planning, but can be installed once the site is established.

Agency: DEP
Development of Pennsylvania's Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan (WIPIII) to describe pollution reduction programs and goals in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed counties through 2025.

More Information:
Pennsylvania Bulletin Notice
Public Comment Page
Choose Clean Water Coalition Public Comments (July 2017)

 

Agency: DEP
Proposed Pennsylvania mitigation strategy for investing the state share ($118 million) of the Volkswagon (VW) Settlement. VW was found to illegally exceeding air pollution limits on its diesel automobiles. As a result, VW settled the case by, in part, providing a multi-billion payment to states whose air quality was adversly impacted. Pennsylvania's draft mitigation plan aims to invest its share in reducing NOx from the transportation sector.

More Information:
Pennsylvania Bulletin Notice
Draft Mitigation Plan
Public Comment Page
PennFuture Public Comments (July 2017)

Environment Blog Posts

In this first of several blog posts, PennFuture legal intern Megan Rulli explains what Liquefied Natural Gas is and what it means for Pennsylvania.
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In a major win for the environment, Dominion Energy Inc. and Duke Energy Corp. announced Sunday that they will not be moving forward with their Atlantic Coast fracked gas pipeline.
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Over the course of our 22-year history, PennFuture has achieved significant and meaningful legal victories and, just this week, we received word that two cases had been resolved in our favor.
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Environment News

On July 8, the House of Representatives passed House Bill 2025, which blocks any attempts by Gov. Wolf to implement a cap-and-invest program in Pennsylvania.
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On June 26, PennFuture secured a legal victory that will force the Environmental Protection Agency to update air quality standards for coke ovens.
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On June 30, the Indiana Gazette published an Op Ed written by Rob Altenburg that makes the case for Pennsylvania joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
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