In 2018 we successfully defeated a package of bills crafted under the guise of “regulatory reform”. Unfortunately these bills (House Bills 430, 507, 509, 762, 806, and 1055) have reared their ugly head again and are likely to be voted on this week in the state house.
This package undercuts the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) ability to develop and implement needed protections and effectively hold accountable polluters who violate our laws and impact the quality of our air and water. Some of the more dangerous aspects would:
- Give third parties the power to review and direct DEP to issue environmental permits.
- Place a cap on the number of regulations and require the repeal of existing regulations in order to pass new ones.
- Require each agency to appoint a regulatory compliance officer who would have the power to waive any fines or penalties if the polluter reports a violation before a fine or penalty is imposed on them.
This legislation will not create a more efficient and effective government, as some legislators claim. It’s clear that the real intent of these bills remains to inject politics into a regulatory process that currently is based on science and the greater need to protect our health and environment, create extraneous and added layers of bureaucracy, impede the roles of our executive branch agencies, and undermine the protections enforced and implemented by our state government.
Email your state representative and tell them to oppose passage of these bills.