As of September 8, 2013, 162 appeals had been filed in the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board. Some are appeals by disappointed applicants for permits. Some are third-party appeals of permits. Some are appeals from enforcement orders. Of those 162 appeals, 19 are appeals from enforcement orders issued to individuals. Of those, at least some are appeals by individuals who believe that they qualify for pro bono representation.
If the standard for using public resources on an enforcement action is that the enforcement will improve environmental quality in a way that benefits people, the number of individuals subjected to enforcement by the DEP who then believe they have litigable appeals is truly surprising. Are the fights being picked the fights that matter?
I consider the issue in my column this month in the Pennsylvania Law Weekly. Read Does Environmental Enforcement Against Individuals Make Sense?, 38 Pa. L. Weekly 858 (Sept. 17, 2013), by clicking here.