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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 97-311


Proposed Community Environmental Project Policy

[27 Pa.B. 1083]

   The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is requesting public comment on a proposed policy to allow regulated entities which owe a civil penalty to DEP to pay a portion of that penalty through the performance or funding of a Community Environmental Project (CEP).

   Under the proposed policy, an entity subject to a civil penalty could pay a portion of that penalty by paying for a project having a substantial public health, safety or environmental benefit to the community. The CEP would only be allowed in certain defined circumstances. The Department does not intend to substitute a project in every proposed penalty situation, but rather to consider them in situations it decides are appropriate.

   As proposed, a CEP must improve, protect, prevent, reduce, or remediate risks to the public health, safety or the environment at large. While in some cases the CEP may provide an alleged violator with certain collateral benefits, there must be no doubt that the project primarily and substantially benefits the public.

   While the Department has historically allowed for a CEP in a limited number of cases it has not made wide use of them, except in the Mining and Oil and Gas programs. The Department believes that greater use of CEPs will benefit the public and specifically communities in the vicinity of a violation. The DEP spends moneys from the dedicated funds into which civil penalties are paid for similar purposes. The proposed policy will allow for greater and quicker funding than could be accomplished if the money were first paid to DEP.

   Comments on the proposed Community Environmental Project Policy should be sent to Terry R. Bossert, Chief Counsel, P. O. Box 2063, Harrisburg, PA 17105-2063 or by March 31, 1997.

   A copy of the proposed policy is available on DEP's World Wide Web site at: (choose Public Participation Center/Proposals Open for Comment) or by e-mail request to:  Hunt. Copies are also available by writing:  Community Environmental Projects Policy, Department of Environmental Protection, P. O. Box 2063, Harrisburg, PA17105-2063, Attention:  Alexis Hunt; or telephone:  (717) 787-4449; or fax:  (717) 783-8926.


[Pa.B. Doc. No. 97-311. Filed for public inspection February 28, 1997, 9:00 a.m.]

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