Enforcement Pushback–Making It Personal
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that enforcement staff and managers (including the regional office director and an enforcement attorney) in Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) were held personally liable for 6.5 million in damages relating to a series of enforcement actions against one company. MFS Inc., a manufacturer of industrial insulation and ceiling tiles, alleged that the four DEP employees pursued aggressive enforcement against it after the company had complained about DEP to state legislators. The company alleged that the stepped-up enforcement efforts interfered with efforts to sell the facility and ultimately led to its liquidation. Although the employees were held personally liable, the state has committed to pick up the costs. DEP is seeking to overturn the verdict.