The Court of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (“Court”) issued a Memorandum and Order (“MAO”) on July 26 regarding the application of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”) and the Environmental Quality Board (“EQB ”) To dismiss an action filed by the Delaware Riverkeeper Network (“ Riverkeeper ”). See Delaware Riverkeeper Network et al. v. Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, N ° 285 DM 2019.
Riverkeeper brought an action in the Court of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania against DEP and EQB for the adoption of a Safe Drinking Water Act (“SDWA”) standard for per- and polyfluoroalkylated substances (“ PFAS ”).
Riverkeeper argued that the EQB accepted a petition in 2017 requesting that DEP adopt an SDWA Contaminant Level Maximum (“MCL”) for perfluorooctanoic acid. The DEP would not have fulfilled the mandate required for rule making. As a result, Riverkeeper initiated the action referenced above.
DEP and EQB are said to have responded with a plea entitled:
. . . Request for release in the nature of a motion to dismiss for non-compliance (request) and response filed by Delaware Riverkeeper Network and Delaware Riverkeeper, Maya Van Rossum.
DEP and EQB argued in support of the motion that DEP responded to Riverkeeper’s regulatory petition by recommending an MCL of four perfluorooctanoic acids. This recommendation is declared to have been accepted by the EQB.
Riverkeeper argued that the DEP’s response did not resolve the controversy. The remaining controversy would have been the DEP’s “delayed” response. The organization argued that a declaratory order from the court would continue to:
. . . clarify what respondents are required to do.
The Court dismissed DEP and EQB’s motion to dismiss, concluding that:
. . . the question of whether his response was appropriate remains unanswered.
The Court therefore concludes that the case is not moot and dismisses the Application.
A copy of the Riverkeeper press release, which provides a link to the Court’s MAA, can be downloaded here.