Court Ruling May Change Pa.'s Enviro Enforcement Approach

Law360 (April 9, 2018, 6:53 PM EDT) -- The Pennsylvania Supreme Court's recent ruling axing a method used by state environmental regulators to calculate fines for ongoing contamination of waterways may force the agency to use tools other than fines, such as criminal penalties or compliance orders, to address violations, experts say.

The ruling found that the state's Department of Environmental Protection had run afoul of the Clean Streams Law by basing a fine against EQT Corp. in part on the continued movement of contamination from a natural gas well pad through groundwater and into other waterways.

With similar language regarding continuing violations appearing across multiple state environmental statutes,...

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