Complies with the law?....Just semanticsPITTSBURGH — Critics say a new order from Gov. Tom Corbett will pressure state employees to more quickly approve environmental permits, including Marcellus Shale gas wells and projects that involve sensitive wetlands or ecosystems.
The order, signed July 24, is described as a "Permit Decision Guarantee" for the Department of Environmental Protection. Environmental advocates say the order directs the agency to "consider compliance with the review deadlines a factor in any job performance evaluations" of staff.
"It's going to put the public health and safety at risk," said George Jugovic Jr., a former top DEP employee who supervised a staff of more than 200 as the agency's Southwest regional director. "I think the message is clear. Issuing the permit has a higher priority than doing a fair and thorough job of insuring that the application complies with the law."
Maybe we need a drive-thru permit window?
Critics: Pennsylvania permit order threatens environment