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Friday, January 6, 2012

Clean Air Council Responds To DEP News Release

PA DEP Secretary Calls Complying with Federal Clean Air Act Rules “Bizarre”

PHILADELPHIA, PA – January 6, 2012 Yesterday Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) Secretary Michael Krancer submitted a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calling the Clean Air Council’s request for Pennsylvania to comply with its federally-approved Clean Air Act State Implementation Plan (SIP) a “bizarre position.”

On November 28, 2011, the Council submitted a petition to EPA asking them to make a finding that Pennsylvania is failing to implement its SIP in response to PA DEP’s ongoing failure to ensure adequate public notice and access to information before issuing permits to minor sources of air pollution. This has become especially problematic because due to another flawed PA DEP policy nearly all Marcellus Shale operations have been deemed minor sources.

In 2008 PA DEP finalized a “streamlined” permitting process for minor sources and submitted those revisions to EPA for approval and inclusion in their SIP. At the time PA DEP explained that the revision merely clarified their current practice of only publishing notices of receipt for permit applications for sources where there is little or no public interest or concern.

Alongside PA DEP’s announcement of yesterday’s letter to EPA they released notice of an upcoming hearing for a minor source permit for a Marcellus Shale compressor station. This hearing was the result of over 60 requests from citizens for more information regarding the source of air pollution entering their community.

“It is clear from the public outcry that a ‘streamlined’ process is inappropriate for Marcellus Shale ‘minor source’ permits,” said Joseph Otis Minott, Esq., Executive Director of the Clean Air Council, “Citizens should not have to force a public hearing on every compressor station because the notice and access to information is insufficient.”

The EPA has not approved PA DEP’s SIP revision and the current SIP remains in effect. The existing SIP provision requires full disclosure of the proposed permit and conditions along with PA DEP reasoning for issuing the permit and its conditions. Regardless of any state law changes, PA DEP is not currently complying with these notice requirements. Secretary Krancer’s letter to the EPA appears to argue that the state law trumps the federal requirements. This argument is nonsensical and would render the entire SIP process meaningless.

Further, the revision frustrates the underlying purpose of public notice and comment periods and does not meet Clean Air Act requirements. The Council expects that EPA will deny the revision and force Pennsylvania to revoke its “streamlined” permitting program.

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Anonymous said...

Obamas new EPA rules are killing jobs nation wide ! Look for alot more before the 2012 elections!

Anonymous said...

As opposed to the emissions killing people, especially children. Make the EPA the bogeyman and blame Obama. That's getting pretty old. So is the job killing crap. But go ahead and have another glass of kool aid. I hear it tempers the effects of your lobotomy.

Anonymous said...

7:29 you just keep your blinders on and be a good little obama sheep!

Anonymous said...

The reason why American can't get anything done anymore and all are jobs are going over seas is 100% due to governmental oversight and multiple, contradicting, overbearing, regulatory governmenty agencies.

When it costs 6 months salary for the demolition permits for a distressed commercial building to be removed so that progress can take place. The same buildig that was built without a permit one, and that 50 years ago would one have required only willing workers to remove.

When it takes a stack of paperwork 2" thick for a local municipal sidewalk project that wouldn't even fill one delivery truck. That same project for a private individual would only have at the most two pages and a more commonly been done as a verbal agreement. But since there is federal money attached it requires over 300 pages of paperwork...

But dont just take me at my word, try and start a business that requires a 5 acre site. You will quit before you ever turn a shovel full of dirt thanks the the mountain of paperwork required.

We need to rid ourselves of alot of the government that we created before it gets rid of us. 2012 is our chance to start righting our course and send obama back to africa, or at least chicago.

Anonymous said...

8:54-- back to Africa?
I thought racist cretins like you had all died off by now!
Did I just read that now, on here, in 2012?
Maybe you should gather up your asbestos, your DDT and other symbols of a non-regulated business culture and move onto some island where you won't be violating other people's rights to clean air, clean water and other fundamental guarantees of living in this nation and this commonwealth.