On January 21, 2016, a webinar hosted by the Secretaries of the Pennsylvania Departments of Environmental Protection (DEP), Agriculture (PDA), and Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) discussed the joint effort of all three agencies to meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s requirements to clean up the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Important takeaways from the webinar for municipalities with MS4 permits are:
- DEP’s goal is to inspect at least 10% of MS4s statewide on an annual basis.
- There is going to be a shift in funding away from educational programming and towards inspections and enforcement.
- Non-compliance will result in enforcement action, which could translate into costly penalties.
- DEP has no intention of changing its plans to clean up the Chesapeake Bay if the requirements set by the EPA are struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court. DEP Secretary Quigley stressed that access to clean water is a Constitutional right in Pennsylvania, and that the efforts to clean up waters of the Commonwealth will continue regardless of what happens at the federal level.
If you have questions about how increased inspections and enforcement could affect your municipality, please contact our Municipal Law Group.