Critics say a new order from Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett will pressure state employees to approve environmental permits faster, including Marcellus Shale gas wells and projects that involve sensitive wetlands or ecosystems.
The order, signed on July 24, is described as a “Permit Decision Guarantee” for the Department of Environmental Protection.
George Jugovic Jr., a former top DEP employee, says the new plan will put public health and safety at risk.
Jugovic, who is currently president of the environmental group PennFuture, says the new order will “further beat down an already demoralized staff.”
DEP spokesman Kevin Sunday says the new order won’t sacrifice environmental protection. Sunday says the agency will publish details of the policy later this month and seek public comment.