Bill Aims to Fix PA DEP Conflict of Interest re Penalty Revenue

PA Sen. Scott Hutchinson

Pennsylvania State Senator Scott Hutchinson says the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) has a built-in conflict of interest. The DEP has broad powers of investigating and assessing fines and penalties on the oil and gas industry for violations of the rules the DEP itself makes. The icing on the cake is that the DEP gets to keep the money it levies in fines and penalties. Hmmm. You make up the rules, you get to aggressively enforce the rules, and then you get to keep the money that results. What’s wrong with this picture? Hutchinson says if you put someone else (the PA legislature, in this case) in charge of the money raised from the fines and penalties, that makes the situation a little more fair and balanced. We couldn’t agree more…

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