Earlier this month, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court decided Becker v. Department of Environmental Protection, No. 560 C.D. 2017 (Pa. Commw. Ct. Dec. 1, 2017), a case focused primarily on what constitutes a “watercourse” or “stream” under the Pennsylvania Dam Safety and Encroachments Act. However, the court also considered whether the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Environmental Hearing Board (EHB) properly ordered a former owner to restore damage to the stream even though he did not have access to the property any more. In so doing, the court had some interesting things to say about ordering access and allocating costs that warrant some thought. I address them in my column this month for the Pennsylvania Law Weekly.
Read Successive Owners and an Obligation to Restore a Stream by clicking here.