DEP Throws Taxpayer Money at Coal Lawyer to Punish Gas?

The PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) wants to punish gas companies endlessly and is using taxpayer money to hire an expensive coal lawyer to help.

While this is old news, it is a continuing story, parts of which I only became recently aware. It’s all about the case of EQT Production Company v. Dept. of Environmental Protection – 485 M.D. 2014, which resulted in a Commonwealth Court decision supporting EQT in its challenge of an outrageous penalty DEP imposed for the company for a leak in one of its wastewater storage ponds.

The penalty was, effectively, a potentially never-ending one, despite the company’s remediation of the problem and Commonwealth Court said “whoa.” That’s the good news. The bad news is that DEP is appealing and using an expensive, outside, out-of-state high end law firm hired at taxpayer expense despite constant suggestions DEP has no money. Worse, the firm has represented big coal, which has every interest in making life miserable for gas companies operating in Pennsylvania.

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