"PA Environment Chief Now Must Approve Any Shale-Drilling Citations"

"In an unprecedented policy shift, inspectors in Pennsylvania have been ordered to stop issuing violations against drillers without prior approval from Gov. Corbett's new environmental chief.

The change, ordered last week in response to complaints by the drilling industry and its supporters in the Pennsylvania legislature, dismayed ground-level staff in the Department of Environmental Protection and drew a chorus of outrage from environmental advocates.

'I could not believe it,' said John Hanger, the last DEP secretary under Gov. Ed Rendell. 'It's extraordinarily unwise. It's going to cause the public in droves to lose confidence in the inspection process.'"

Joseph Tanfani and Craig R. McCoy report for the Philadelphia Inquirer March 31, 2011.

Thursday, March 31, 2011