By Craig Schill
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) exists to protect the commonwealth's natural landscapes and features. It is an enforcement entity that issues permits and fines to keep contaminant releases in the environment to a minimum. The purpose of the DEP is not to severely punish offenders of environmental crimes or permits but rather to deter the actions in the first place and work with violators to ensure it does not keep happening in the future. The DEP also provides funding for many green projects and organizations, like wildlife preserves and cleanup projects. Through these varied approaches, the department protects the air, water, and soil.
Pennsylvania DEP: Included on the department's website is information about what the DEP regulates and oversees. Details on items such as gaining a permit, receiving grants or loans, or reporting an incident can be found there. Links to information on how residents can become involved in DEP processes and contact information for the six regional offices in Pennsylvania are provided here as well.