January 23, 1997
                                                   Phil Coleman
                                                   Jeff Schmidt


The state's largest grassroots environmental organization today released
its environmental scorecard for environmental actions taken by the Ridge
Administration in 1996.  The scorecard, which covers areas from air
quality to forest management, found the Administration failed in many
areas, and was lacking in most others. 

"We believe Governor Ridge should be accountable for the environmental
actions his agencies take," said Phil Coleman, chairman of the Sierra Club
Pennsylvania Chapter.  "In areas that most affect people's health - air
and water quality and waste management, this administration has failed. 
Instead of protecting our children and our communities, the Ridge
Administration policies protect pollutors by weakening health and
environmental protections,"  Coleman continued. 

The Sierra Club scorecard recognized the Department of Conservation and
Natural Resources (DCNR) for their policies against development in state
parks, which received a `B.' "If it weren't for John Oliver's position on
parks and the Administration's opposition to dangerous `takings'
legislation, we would have assigned an overall failing grade,"  the club
chairman stated.  "We hope Governor Ridge will try to make the Department
of Environmental Protection (DEP) more responsive to the public, not the
polluters,"  Coleman concluded. 

The 1996 scorecard, was prepared by the Sierra Club leaders and staff,
including experts in areas such as air quality, forest management, mining,
etc.  It is an annual scorecard. 

The Sierra Club has approximately 20,000 members in Pennsylvania and was  
formed in 1892.  For more information about a specific issue, you can     
contact the specific individual listed below.                             
Air Quality               Nancy Parks               814-349-5151          
Enforcement               Phil Coleman              412-785-7861          
Forestry                  Samuel Hays               412-421-6560          
Hazardous Waste           Gilbert Black             717-523-7627          
Mining                    Wyona Coleman             412-785-7861          
Radioactive Waste         Judith Johnsrud           814-237-3900          
Solid Waste               Jeff Schmidt              717-232-0101          
State Parks               Peter Wray                412-244-9907          
Takings                   Gilbert Black             717-523-7627          
Water Quality             Joe Turner                215-945-1329          


      The Sierra Club Pennsylvania Chapter believes that government
officials should be accountable for their actions.  In 1995 we decided to
prepare a yearly evaluation of various state administrative programs and
actions that affect Pennsylvania's natural resources and public health. 
We feel it important to assign a grade as part of this evaluation. 

      The following report card was compiled by Sierra Club leaders and
includes input from key Club experts in air and water quality, public
lands management, etc.  We acknowledge that our perspective is that of
public health and natural resource protection.  We know others will
evaluate the Ridge Administration for its friendliness to special economic
interests.  This report evaluates the Ridge Administration's efforts to
further the public interest. 


Air Quality        F           Radioactive   Waste        F     
Enforcement        F           Solid Waste                I
Forestry           D           State Parks                B
Hazardous Waste    F           "Takings"                  A
Mining             D           Water Quality              F,U
                               Special Protection Program

                      OVERALL GRADE  D

      If we were to evaluate the two major cabinet level agencies that
deal with environmental protection separately, we would find that the
Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) would most likely receive a
failing grade, while the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
(DCNR) would receive a "C". 

      The Administration's position on "takings" and state parks were
found to be the only areas where positive environmental policies deserve
                              Air Quality


      AWQTAC, Air and Water Quality Technical Advisory Committee to DEP
received many new members in 1996, but none appointed in the public
interest. AWQTAC 1996 issues revolved around the hard-fought
implementation language for the NOx MOU (a nitrogen oxides reduction
strategy committed to by Pennsylvania at the Ozone Transport Commission),
and to the allocation of NOX allowances: a limited authorization to emit
NOX in Pennsylvania.  Attempts were made to exclude allowances for
independent power producers to run their plants; fairness dictated that
AWQTAC provide for all.  IPP's are newer, cleaner plants but use many
mixed fuel sources, and emit different quantities of pollutants over time. 

      AWQTAC has also started to review the RBI, Regulatory Basics
Initiative reports for air program and subsequent regulatory language. 
RBI on fast track to try to avoid public scrutiny.  Gov Ridge is targeting
important air programs for deletion from Pennsylvania law, especially
parts of the malodor regs through which DEP receives extensive complaints
throughout the year (about 300/yr in Conshohocken region), and
Pennsylvania ambient air quality standards.  Coke oven regs are targeted
for troubling changes; there are 37 regs altogether. 

      Ozone Stakeholders process in Philadelphia began in April 1996 and
meetings concluded in December 13, 1996.  Meetings ranged from civil at
best, to contentious, and at other times downright hostile to the public
interest. Initial commitment by all parties to make enough ozone precursor
reductions (VOC and NOX) in order to achieve attainment in Philadelphia
5-county area vigorously backed away from.  Some small steps forward taken
if DEP implements recommendations.  Consensus process resulted in weak
recommendations to the Governor's office.  Attainment reductions in NOX
not achieved; less than half those needed were committed for NOX.  More
positively, more VOC reductions were possible than we committed to
originally.  DEP will need to make up the difference and find NOX
reductions, BUT public will have little input, while industry will lobby
DEP heavily.  Could not achieve consensus on dedicated funding for public
transit nor for reformulated fuels.  Make up of committee unbalanced with
few attending in public interest. 

2.  EPA AUDIT OF DEP LACK OF AIR ENFORCEMENT:  Inspector General reports
detail fundamental differences between EPA, Region III and DEP/Governor's
office on the extent of affected polluters that should be reported to EPA. 
Report investigates and compares actual violations and consent orders in
1995 and 1996 to those of previous years.  Report details lack of
inspections.  Absence of inspections will prevent public from knowing the
extent of pollution distribution, whether violations have occurred and by
what pollutants and at what locations. 

3. I/M PROGRAM:  The Ridge decentralized auto emissions inspection and
maintenance (I/M) program shows a real lack of concern for the public as
consumer (and as responsible citizen reducing their own pollution).  The
previous program was organized, identifiable, low fixed cost, enforceable
with penalties and inspections, & convenient, with disincentives
(penalties) for long waits.  The Ridge decentralized program does not
limit fees, does not provide the efficiency incentive, makes inspections
and audits difficult, limits enforcement since no money in State Police
budget to enforce, is more frequent, gets less pollution reduction, etc. 

4.  STATE IMPLEMENTATION PLAN:  Governor Ridge's inadequate State
Implementation Program (SIP) submittal to EPA has caused Pennsylvanians to
be exposed to dangerous air pollutants for years longer than necessary. 

      Governor Ridge receives an F on air issues. 


      The Ridge Administration approach to environmental law breakers is
probably the most glaring example of its failure to protect the citizens
and environment of the Keystone state. 

      A draft audit report prepared by the Inspector General of the
Environmental Protection Agency contains a stirring indictment of the
Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) air quality enforcement

      The draft report which became public in October detailed instances
where DEP not only covered up the significant air quality violation, but
also failed to bring the offending facilities into compliance.  The
Inspector General report states; "facilities that were serious
contributors to air pollution continued harming the environment -
sometimes for many years." 

      DEP performed 2000 inspections during fiscal year 1995 and reported
only six significant violators to EPA Region III.  The report states,
"From our review of 271, or 13% of the 2000 Pennsylvania DEP inspections,
we identified 70 additional significant violators that the state did not
report to EPA."  The violations included:  37 facilities that emitted
excessive pollution, 25 facilities that violated their construction
permit, and 8 facilities that installed machinery without receiving a
construction permit from the Pennsylvania DEP. 

      According to the Inspector General report, only half of the DEP
regional offices were audited, which means the auditors uncovered only
some of the undisclosed violations.  The auditors were also told by DEP
that they would continue to cover up violations:  "It appears certain that
a more thorough review by us would have identified many more violators
that the state should have reported.  Even the results of our limited
review left no doubt that Pennsylvania DEP did not report significant
violators to EPA.  Moreover, in their conversations with us, state
personnel expressed their intentions not to report violators to EPA." 

      Response to the cover-up was strong.  EPA Region III Administrator
Mike McCabe said, "On the surface, it seems that the state has
deliberately and systematically concealed information essential to the
enforcement of the Clean Air Act.  The report calls into question our
ability to trust the state."  McCabe questioned whether the state was
withholding information on other programs such as water quality and
hazardous waste. 

      The final report, which will be released in late February, will
consider EPA and DEP responses to the draft.  In addition, the Citizens
advisory Committee to DEP is investigating the charges in order to develop
its own set of recommendations.  However, no one expects the charges to go
away.  DEP's policy of "compliance assistance," heralded by Governor
Ridge, goes far beyond compliance assistance and amounts to penalty
forgiveness.  Violators are not punished for their violations.  Sometimes
- and we don't know how often - their violations are not even recorded,
much less reported. 

      Another report, prepared in response to a state House Resolution,
documents that, in 1995-96, fines levied against pollutors by DEP dropped
25% over the preceding year.  The total fell from $10.3 million to $7.7
million.  DEP Secretary Seif has claimed that the new "partnership"
between state government and pollutors is working, that more companies are
coming into compliance without the need for punitive fines and penalties. 

      This claim does not reconcile with the federal Inspector General
report which indicts DEP for failure to bring companies into compliance
and for covering up their significant violations.  In fact, the IG
auditors report found specific instances where significant violations
occurred and DEP issued no notice of violation (NOV).  Thus a polluter who
was out of compliance was deemed by DEP to be in compliance.  This is how
the DEP can claim their "user friendly" approach increases compliance. 
This is like saying that violent crimes have decreased because the police
have stopped arresting violent criminals. 

      The irony of the Ridge Administration's policies on enforcing
environmental laws is clear:  a Governor who campaigned on a platform of
law and order and cracking down on crime doesn't give environmental law
breakers the same attention and priority.  Would a drop of 25% in prison
terms for other lawbreakers be considered a positive partnership?  The
Sierra Club does not think so and assigns the grade of F to the Ridge
Administration for its failure to enforce environmental laws and for its
cover up of the significant violators. 


     The Bureau of Forestry continues to be dominated by a primary
emphasis on wood production and a limited emphasis on
environmental/ecological objectives.  An evaluation of the Bureau rests on
the degree to which it demonstrates evidence of a shift toward a more
balanced set of objectives. 

     The Administration's initial action of consequence was to increase
the wood harvest on the state forests by l37 percent, without a
corresponding advance in environmental/ecological objectives.  What those
objectives might be are well known and were brought to the Bureau's
attention in critiques of both the State Forest Plan and the timber
harvest proposal.  The advisory committee established to gain approval of
the proposal was dominated by those interested in wood harvest and no
attempt was made to provide a balance. 

     Many other features of Bureau of Forestry policy over the last
several years underline this primary emphasis on wood production: analysis
of the deer problem exclusively in terms of the impact of deer on the
regeneration of species desired for growing wood and not in terms of their
forest-wide ecological impact; the unwillingness to take up the problem of
atmospheric deposition of sulfur and nitrogen (including acid rain)
through critical load analysis; the unwillingness to analyze the impact of
wood harvest on forest ecology through pre-and-post harvest

     That the Bureau remains deeply rooted in a wood production mode and
has not established a more balanced set of objectives justifies a grade of
"F" for this phase of the evaluation. 

    Several actions of the Bureau during the year might well presage a
more balanced program.  Among the most important are: (l) Appointment of a
Biodiversity Coordinator for the Department, located in the Bureau of
Forestry, who is given the responsibility for advancing biodiversity
objectives.  The Coordinator has been on the job less than a year and as
yet there is no clear evidence as to what will come from this position.
(2) Establishment of a coordinating committee to bring together the
various natural resource agencies to fashion multi-agency biodiversity
approaches; it has been holding meetings but there is no clear evidence as
of yet as to what it will accomplish.  (3) Establishment of an Ecosystem
Management Advisory Committee to guide the Bureau in the broad range of
policies that might come under the label of ecosystem management; just
what this will amount to in terms of resulting Bureau policy is not yet
clear. (4) Plant sanctuaries, provided by legislation over a decade ago
might well be in process of being established, but just how this is to be
worked out remains to be seen.  Beyond all this, one concrete action is
hopeful:  Bureau of Forestry active participation in the Important Bird
Areas program advanced by the Audubon Society and identification of some
such areas on state forest lands.  These hopefully "new directions" merit
a grade of "C" for effort but a higher grade is not warranted until effort
evolves into results. 

      We balance out the "F" grade for the continuing commodity emphasis
with a "C" grade for new directions underway but still at the level of
process rather than results, to produce an overall grade of "D". 

                          Hazardous Waste

      During 1996 the Department of Environmental Protection continued its
Regulatory Basics Initiative, which calls for review for review of all
regulations containing standards more stringent than Federal law.  The
stated intention of the Department was to achieve better compliance by
emphasizing cooperation, prevention, innovation and education...Secretary
Seif said "We intend to create a level playing field where there are
Federal Requirements so that costs of doing business in Pennsylvania are
competitive with other states..." 

      The Department's announced policy of being more "user friendly" to
business resulted in a decrease in enforcement activities, and a rebuke
from the EPA regarding Pennsylvania's lax enforcement of clean air

      Citizens were successful in blocking some very negative DEP
hazardous waste incentives.  DEP's proposed de-regulation, which would
have allowed "very small quantity generators"-- those disposing of less
than 220 pounds of hazardous waste per month--to dump in municipal
landfills and incinerators, was dropped after citizen pressure prodded the
state House to pass legislation blocking the proposal. 

      Another victory was the abandonment by DEP of its ill-advised plan
to allow carbon regeneration units "permits by rule"--in other words, no
need for permits at all.  Sierra Club joined a massive protest to this
move, centered around Darlington and other Allegheny and Beaver County
towns where carbon regeneration units are located.  The CRU's, which are
listed as "recovery" technologies but are really incinerators, continue to
operate under interim status-- unpermitted and virtually unregulated.  So
the struggle for proper regulation must continue. 

      The Sierra Club contends that by stressing cooperation with
businesses over enforcement of regulations, the Department is focusing on
short-term profits for businesses at the expense of permanent jobs, a
clean environment, and the long-term health of the state's economy.  We
have cited at least four in-depth reports demonstrating that states with
tough environmental regulations generally are better economically, create
more jobs, and are healthier places to live than states with lax
environmental regulations.  The implication of each of these studies is
clear, that the competitiveness of Pennsylvania industries is enhanced by
regulatory enforcement, and that more stringent regulations would provide
better incentives for industry to do right, and thus improve the economy
and the quality of life in Pennsylvania.  Eliminating regulations more
stringent than EPA regulations will further erode the environment. 
"Compliance" will look better, since fewer regulations will exist, but the
environment, economy, will suffer.  The Sierra Club assigns the Department
an F for failure to protect the public with its proposed hazardous waste


      The Department of Environmental Protection's mining program has not
been citizen friendly.  It has been, however, substantially industry
friendly.  The Ridge administration began its tenure with a series of
regional meetings at which it was made clear that the enforcement policy
would be "user friendly".  Regulated entities would be advised of
violations and would be negotiated with rather than be cited.  Inspectors
were told:  "don't write tickets; get on the phone and talk with these

      Permitting Permitting- which is one of the most important functions
of DEP - came under intense scrutiny.  A citizens group in Washington
County - PUSH (People United to Save Homes) sued the department before the
Environmental Hearing Board for its permit to 84 Mining Company, claiming
the department did not hold the company to permitting requirements of the
Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA).  The complaint
outlined lack of background data, water well and spring locations, and a
failure to provide a subsidence plan to minimize and prevent subsidence
damages.  The EHB found that...."the department abused its discretion by
not enforcing mandatory language of its own regulations..." 

      Policies Another major problem with DEP is its "citizen complaint"
policy.  DEP now receives citizens complaints with a telephone dialogue
which contains the query:  "Do you want this complaint considered
anonymous?"  It begs an automatic "yes".  As a matter of fact, most
citizens do not want to be anonymous:  they want action on their
complaint.  DEP, however, will not divulge how many citizens have
complained about a specific problem.  This is a real hinderance to citizen
groups who are attempting to assess and document operator violation
patterns.  SMCRA specifically calls for all citizen complaints to be open
to public access. 

      In the case of Reading Anthracite, a stripping company operating in
Southeastern PA, documented reports of more than 500 citizen complaints on
blasting were handled by DEP calling the company and asking if they were
blasting in legal limits.  On being assured that they were, DEP made no
actual inspections on the basis of the complaints. 

      Enforcement The Federal Office of Surface Mining, which maintains
oversight authority over DEP's mining program, found that enforcement
actions of the DEP were down nearly 50 percent over the past year as
compared to 1993 statistics.  Notices of Violation were 484 for 1996 as
compared to 1069 for 1993.  Compliance Orders were 238 for the year,
compared to 645 for 1993.  Notices of Violation include such violations as
sediment control, treatment facilities, sedimentation ponds, and effluent

      In light of poor performance in permitting, inspection, and
enforcement of both underground and surface mining, the Sierra Club gives
DEP a "D". 

                         Radioactive Waste

      Sixteen years after passage of the Federal "Low Level" Radioactive
Waste (LLRW) Policy Act, no new LLRW facilities have been opened under its
provisions anywhere in the US, and one of the three previous commercial
LLRW sites is closed.  One new private facility now accepts low-activity
decommissioning wastes, including some from GPU's experimental Saxton
reactor in Bedford County. 

      Since 1986, Pennsylvania has been the designated Host State for a
Regional Disposal Facility to serve the Appalachian States LLRW Compact. 
In accordance with our 1988 LLRW Disposal Act 12, the Department of
Environmental Resources (DER) has set strict siting criteria and detailed
technical site screening process, adopted by the EQB.  Their statutory
goal was to locate "one of the best" technically suitable sites for
"low-level" waste "disposal". 

      By the start of the Ridge Administration, DER's contractor, Chem
Nuclear Systems, Inc. (CNSI) - a subsidiary of Waste Management, Inc., WMX
Technologies Inc. - had developed a sophisticated Geographic Information
System analytical approach and had disqualified 75% of the state. 
Potentially suitable 500-acre sites remained in all counties.  However,
the search proved far more expensive than CNSI had estimated.  With 7
million acres still eligible, the nuclear utilities' contribution of c.$33
million to the project had been spent.  In June 1996, Chem Nuclear stated
that LLRW volumes were down: public opposition has grown statewide; record
acreages were being put in Agricultural Security Areas, which disqualified
them; numerous counties and municipalities have planned ahead by adopting
protective ordinances in case they were chosen.  Nationally, the industry
claimed need for only three or four sites, not the dozen now being sought;
the first to open might be required by Congress take all, as has occurred
with high-level waste. 

      The new Administration halted the siting process early in 1995 to
reevaluate its approach.  Chem Nuclear, with the new Department of
Environmental Protection (DEP), decided to set aside the technical siting
criteria and process, and instead seek a volunteer community to host the
LLRW facility.  CNSI devised a "Community Partnering Plan," which, it was
claimed, did not require DEP's approval, and renewed its search.  In one
township, the supervisors quickly voted to volunteer; however, immediate,
strongly negative, public outcry caused them to reverse that decision. 
Similar negative reactions dissuaded others. 

      CNSI then asked the Pennsylvania State Association of Township
Supervisors (PSATS) for help.  With a grant from the Appalachian Compact
Commission, (whose other Party States fear loss of access to Chem
Nuclear's Barnwell, SC, site), PSATS now provides information for CNSI and
DEP.  The Commission also gave CNSI another c.$2 million to continue their
search into 1997.  Thus far, they admit to only "a few nibbles" for
information.  But closed meetings continue. 

      Sierra Club's representative and others on the State's LLRW Advisory
Committee note that, by abandoning technical screening, the Community
Partnering Plan bypasses the legislative intent of Act 12 to choose a LLRW
site "among the best" in the state.  Our law (time- consuming, costly, and
imperfect) has been called the most protective in the nation.  Yet this
Administration has condoned a substitute volunteer process that could
result in a site that might be among the least suitable.  For their
disregard of a carefully crafted method intended to provide the best
achievable protection of health, safety and the environment we must
regretfully assign the Ridge Administration a grade of F in 1996. 

                            Solid Waste

      The Administration, in keeping with its business-friendly bias, has
been the solid waste industry's biggest friend in the eastern United
States.  Since Governor Ridge came into office, the Department of
Environmental Protection (DEP) has not rejected permits for any landfill
request it received as of late summer.  New landfills, landfill
expansions, and significant increases in daily volumes all got the rubber
stamp treatment. 

      The Administration, by refusing to use existing statutory authority
to deny these waste industry requests, has allowed Pennsylvania to become
the biggest importer of solid waste in the United States, with about 6.7
million tons annually coming into Pennsylvania from New York, New Jersey,
and even Ontario, Canada. 

      Governor Ridge has garnered much publicity about the need to pass
federal legislation to empower states to limit waste imports.  But the
failure to use existing laws to limit the overall number and volume of
landfills raises the question:  Will the Ridge DEP use a new federal law
if it is passed?  The Ridge DEP has permitted so much capacity in
Pennsylvania, that the price of garbage disposal has plummeted making
Pennsylvania the garbage "mecca".  As of fall 1996, DEP has permitted in
excess of 112,000 tons per day, or over 48,000 tons more than is currently
used (including imports). 

      The big change came when it was announced that Freshkills Landfill
on Staten Island would close in the next few years.  Freshkills, the
world's largest landfill at 17,000 tons per day, serves New York City. 
Because of Pennsylvania's huge excess capacity, and rock bottom disposal
costs, the Ridge Administration realized that the Keystone state was
likely to be a prime candidate for Freshkill waste.  The specter of more
New York City waste coming to Pennsylvania represents a political
nightmare, especially in areas, many rural and Republican. where the
Commonwealth's landfills exist. 

      Unfortunately, because the Ridge Administration had already granted
enough excess volume to take nearly three times the waste currently
disposed of at Freshkills, our state is nearly powerless to prevent its

      What Governor Ridge has done (in late summer) was to issue an
executive order which the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)
officials claim will slow down the growth of landfills in Pennsylvania. 
At a Senate Environmental Committee hearing DEP Secretary Jim Seif
explained that the August 29 order requires DEP to: 1) evaluate all
existing solid waste landfills, incinerators and transfer stations "to
determine if the volumes and types of waste allowed to go to these
facilities are causing environmental problems" and to look at the garbage
truck impacts on highways and 2) conduct a review of the permit review
process.  The second directive will focus on waste volumes, environmental
assessments, and traffic safety. 

      The initiative, in itself, does not mean any restrictions on
landfill permitting will occur.  Agency actions on permit requests for new
landfills, expansions, or increases in daily volumes will be the true
test.  Another will be whether DEP rescinds permits or increases in daily
volumes where it has the statutory authority to do so.  Waiting for
federal legislation is not enough. 

      The Sierra Club would have assigned a grade of F to the Ridge
Administration for its rubber stamp policy on landfills.  In light of the
Governors Executive order we are changing that to an I for incomplete. 
The final grade depends on whether DEP actually denies landfill permits,
expansions, and volume increases and whether they rescind some of the
additional excess volume and capacity they have already permitted.  They
have the legal authority.  The question is, "Do they have the will to say
`no' to the waste industry?" 

                            State Parks

      A major issue in 1996 was an effort in the General Assembly to
introduce privately-owned resort-type facilities into the State Park
system. Although not called upon by the Committees to testify on DCNR's
behalf, Sec. John Oliver III let it be know to the conservationist
community that he would oppose such a move.  At a Dec. 3 meeting of the
Pennsylvania Conservation Network Secretary Oliver publicly stated that "
As long as Tom Ridge is Governor and I am DCNR Secretary, we will oppose
commercial resort and lodge development in Pennsylvania's state parks". 
We welcome this stand from the Administration, and hope it will deter
future adventurism on the part of pro-development legislators. 

      Of deeper concern for the state park system is funding for
maintenance and refurbishment of the park infrastructure.  Here some
credit must given to the Ridge Administration.  Following Governor Ridge's
early support for the key 93 bond issue, the DCNR is now implementing a
$100 million state park program named Project Stewardship.  This program
will significantly help reduce the $170 million backlog of work required
to rebuild the system. 

      While the efforts of the Administration are indeed commendable, it
must be stated that at best they are only keeping the park system in a
holding pattern.  Compared to the more progressive programs in other
states, Pennsylvania is in danger of slipping in terms of an adequate
environmental education program, significant protection of wild areas, and
land acquisition for park buffer zones.  Full implementation of the State
Parks 2000 plan would be welcome. 
      Overall, the general support of the Ridge administration for the
State Parks system deserves a rating of B.  For the rest of its term, we
would like to see the Administration reach beyond repair of the system and
restore Pennsylvania's position as a national State Parks leader. 


      In keeping with a national effort by polluter interests, "takings"
legislation has been introduced in the Pennsylvania General Assembly. 
Takings bills require government to pay pollutors and landowners, when
governmental actions restrict activities that may harm neighboring
landowners or the general public. 

      Wetlands regulations, siting of hazardous facilities, local land use
planning are some areas that could be affected by these various proposals. 

      Opposition to takings legislation has united diverse interests,
including environmentalists, local government, sportsmens' groups,
planning organizations, religious groups and good government

      At a hearing held by the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy
Committee, The Ridge Administration opposed the proposal, SB 1587. 
Representatives of the Department of Protection (DEP), the Pennsylvania
Department of Transportation (PennDOT), Historic Museum Commission, and
the Attorney General's office joined citizens groups in opposition to
takings proposals. 

      The Administration representatives identified the enormous costs and
additional bureaucracy that would be imposed on the tax payers to
implement SB 1587.  SB 1587 died in committee, in part due to the
Administration's opposition.  Proponents of takings bills have vowed they
will be back with new proposals. 

      The Ridge Administration deserves an A for its willingness to oppose
takings legislation. 

                          Water Quality

      The Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) disapproved
Pennsylvania's anti-degradation regulations in June 1994.  The Casey
Administration made no moves to satisfy EPA, and in fact was the first to
speak of getting public input before proceeding.  The Ridge Administration
coined this effort a "regulatory-negotiation," (reg-neg) and charged the
diverse stakeholders with coming up with a program, but without any
constraints.  The entire program was up for negotiation. 

      Known to all parties, especially EPA and DEP, however, was the
second lawsuit filed by the Raymond Proffitt Foundation in Federal court
in December 1994, charging that EPA had an obligation to promulgate rules
for Pennsylvania once the state had been given the opportunity to make the
necessary changes, but failed to do so.  With this lawsuit hanging over
the proceedings, the reg-neg began. 

      In April, after arduous effort, the stakeholders signed an "interim
report" to Secretary Seif, intending to communicate their progress to
date, and prefaced with the provision that all agreements were contingent
on a final agreement.  Shortly afterwards, Judge Louis P. Bechtle, Jr. of
the Federal Court for the Eastern District of PA ruled in favor of the
Proffitt Foundation and ordered EPA to immediately begin promulgation. 

      DEP, the agency that for years ignored EPA's pleas to clean up its
act, now moved.  Using the interim report without the permission of the
stakeholders, DEP published the report as draft proposed regulations, and
invited public comment--all on a document that was to be nothing more than
a progress report.  In August, the reg-neg broke up without reaching a
final agreement. Industry insisted on a roll back of protection on
Pennsylvania's best streams, and also refused to re-open a few issues that
conservation groups had concerns with, contrary to the operating
principles of the group.  The two groups of stakeholders submitted
separate reports.  Also in August, EPA published proposed rules for
Pennsylvania. DEP got into the act, claiming that EPA's regulations would
result in less protection for Pennsylvania's streams, and actually
publishing a sample letter for citizens to send to EPA against the
promulgation.  Sierra Club activists exposed DEP's doubletalk.  As this
goes to press, EPA is ready to publish final rules for Pennsylvania, while
DEP has not yet published its proposal.  With Federal promulgation,
Pennsylvania will finally have anti-degradation regulations that meet the
minimum federal requirements, and despite DEP's "spin," those regulations
will result in more protection for Pennsylvania streams and wetlands.  One
could argue DEP deserves an "incomplete" as a grade on its own
anti-degradation regulations, but seeing as how EPA gave them that grade
back in the 1980's, and then gave repeated warnings, DEP deserve s an "F." 

      DEP's behavior towards its own stakeholders, and the public at
large, deserves a "U" for "Unsatisfactory." 

--- end of report ---