Study Confirms PA Enviro Laws ARE More Strict Than Federal Laws

In April, the Pennsylvania Joint State Government Commission released a report (full copy below) tackling the question of whether or not PA’s environmental laws and regulations are more stringent than federal requirements. The report compared the main state and federal laws in place covering clean air, clean water, natural resources, waste management and more. The report says PA’s laws, “are generally no more stringent than their federal counterparts.” But in the same paragraph, the report says, “Where additional regulations have been made, it is generally justified as a compelling and articulable Pennsylvania interest and addresses definable public health, safety or environmental risks. The area of greatest deviation involves differences between the federal Clean Water Act and the Clean Streams Law. Other more stringent regulations are found in the areas of safe drinking water, the handling of hazardous materials, and mineral extraction. In some instances, Pennsylvania regulations build upon and supplement federal law; in others, Pennsylvania has acted in areas not regulated by the federal government” (pg 6). What does that say to you? It says to us: “Heck yeah, the enviro laws in PA are a lot more strict than federal laws, but there’s good reasons (according to the authors of the report) for it.” Are there good reasons for PA raising the bar higher than the federal government requires?…

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