Save Us From Future Environmental Risks (SUFFER)


Settlement Secures More Monitoring & Changes in DEP Permitting Process

On March 30, 2012, the Law Center reached settlements with DEP and a developer that will curb the abuse of DEP’s research and development permits, which in Hazleton were used to place huge amounts of unstudied materials into the environment without having to first evaluate potential dangerous effects.

The settlements require more frequent testing of the site by DEP and the drilling of a new well to test groundwater. But by putting in motion reforms to the research and development permitting process, the settlement also achieves a systemic change that will help vulnerable communities throughout Pennsylvania.

The settlement requires DEP to propose a modification of the general research and development permit that would require applicants to supply 1) additional justification for exceeding the 50-ton, one-year limit, 2) a substantive plan for conducting actual research during the course of the project, and 3) reports documenting the environmental effects of the materials studied.