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35 P.S. 4012

PENNSYLVANIA STATUTES
TITLE 35. HEALTH AND SAFETY
CHAPTER 23. AIR POLLUTION

4012. Powers reserved to political subdivisions

(a) Nothing in this act shall prevent counties, cities, towns, townships or boroughs from enacting ordinances with respect to air pollution which will not be less stringent than the provisions of this act, the Clean Air Act or the rules and regulations promulgated under either this act or the Clean Air Act. This act shall not be construed to repeal existing ordinances, resolutions or regulations of the aforementioned political subdivisions existing at the time of the effective date of this act, except as they may be less stringent than the provisions of this act, the Clean Air Act or the rules or regulations adopted under either this act or the Clean Air Act.

Note: Points (b) through (f) only apply to Philadelphia County and Allegheny County. Philadelphia is the state's only first class county and Allegheny County (home to the city's second largest city -- Pittsburgh -- is the only second class county with its own air pollution control program. In these counties, the county agencies take the place of the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and are in control of the air pollution permitting and enforcement. This is a different issue from the authority granted in point (a), which allows county and municipal governments to have and enforce stricter air pollution laws in addition to the air pollution permitting and enforcement done by the state DEP.

(b) The administrative procedures for the abatement, reduction, prevention and control of air pollution set forth in this act shall not apply to any county of the first or second class of the Commonwealth which has and implements an air pollution control program that, at a minimum, meets the requirements of this act, the Clean Air Act and the rules and regulations promulgated under both this act and the Clean Air Act and has been approved by the department.

(b.1) Provisions of this act pertaining to dust control measures shall not apply to portions of highways in townships of the second class where no businesses or residences are located.

(c)(1) Whenever, either upon complaint made to or initiated by the department, the department finds that any person is in violation of air pollution control standards, or rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to the grant of authority made in subsection (b), the department shall give notification of that fact to that person and to the air pollution control agency of the county involved.

(2) If such violation continues to exist after said notification has been given, the department may take any abatement action provided for under the terms of this act.

(d) Whenever the department finds that violations of this act or the rules and regulations promulgated under this act are so widespread that such violations appear to result from a failure of the local county control agency involved to enforce those requirements, the department may assume the authority to enforce this act in that county.

(e) The department shall have the power to refuse approval, or to suspend or rescind approval, once given, to any county air pollution control agency if the department finds that such county agency is unable or unwilling to conduct an air pollution control program to abate or reduce air pollution problems within its jurisdiction in accordance with the requirements of this act, the Clean Air Act or the rules and regulations promulgated under both this act and the Clean Air Act.

(f) Whenever the department takes action under the provisions of subsections (d) or (e) of this section, it shall give written notification to the air pollution control agency of the county involved and such notification shall be an appealable action.

(g) Irrespective of subsection (b) above, and in order that the civil and criminal penalties and equitable remedies for air pollution violations shall be uniform throughout the Commonwealth, the penalties and remedies set forth in this act shall be the penalties and remedies available for enforcement of any municipal air pollution ordinances or regulations, and shall be available to any municipality, public official, or other person having standing to initiate proceedings for the enforcement of such municipal ordinances or regulations, and the amounts of the fines or civil penalties set forth herein shall be the amounts of the fines or civil penalties assessable and to be levied for violations of any municipal ordinances or regulations. It is hereby declared to be the purpose of this section to enunciate further that the purpose of this act is to provide additional and cumulative remedies to abate the pollution of the air of this Commonwealth. Any action for the assessment of civil penalties brought for the enforcement of a municipal air pollution ordinance or regulation shall be brought in accordance with the procedures set forth in such ordinance. Where any municipal ordinance or regulation does not provide a procedure for the assessment of civil penalties, the provisions related to assessment and collection of civil penalties of section 9.1 shall apply.

(h) Nothing in this act shall affect the Municipal Planning Code unless required by the Clean Air Act.


4012.1a. Construction

Nothing in this act shall be construed as stopping the Commonwealth, or any district attorney or solicitor of a municipality, from proceeding in courts of law or equity to abate pollutions forbidden under this act, or abate nuisances under existing law. It is hereby declared to be the purpose of this act to provide additional and cumulative remedies to abate the pollution of the air of this Commonwealth, and nothing contained in this act shall in any way abridge or alter rights of action or remedies now or hereafter existing in equity, or under the common law or statutory law, criminal or civil, nor shall any provision of this act, or the granting of any plan approval or permit under this act, or any act done by virtue of this act, be construed as estopping the Commonwealth, persons or municipalities, in the exercise of their rights under the common law or decisional law or in equity, from proceeding in courts of law or equity to suppress nuisances, or to abate any pollution now or hereafter existing, or enforce common law or statutory rights. No courts of this Commonwealth having jurisdiction to abate public or private nuisance shall be deprived of such jurisdiction to abate any private or public nuisance instituted by any person for the reason that such nuisance constitutes air pollution.


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