Jul. 01, 2022

HARRISBURG —PA House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee (ERE) Majority Chairman Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) officially introduced House Resolution 219 calling for the impeachment of outgoing Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Patrick McDonnell.  

Metcalfe also issued the following statement reiterating his case for McDonnell’s impeachment:

“Although it is impossible to list all of the secretary’s impeachable offenses in one news release, at minimum, McDonnell must be held accountable for transforming the DEP into a completely lawless, job-killing, business-condemning regulatory agency.   

“Just hours before I introduced this impeachment resolution, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling that the Environmental Protection Agency does not have broad authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. This is not mere coincidence or inconsequential but is specifically relevant to the DEP secretary’s and the governor’s unlawful carbon tax imposing RGGI scheme. 

“McDonnell’s resignation does not absolve, reduce the urgency or diminish the importance of holding public officials fully accountable for their actions. 

“No individual or regime is above the law. Pennsylvania taxpayers need to know that it is precisely this type of rogue, unconstitutional misbehavior in office by the likes of China Joe Biden, Tom Wolf and the now outgoing DEP secretary that are escalating inflation and crushing us at the pumps and grocery store checkout lanes.”

According to House Resolution 219, under McDonnell’s leadership the DEP has committed a number of flagrant violations of the Pennsylvania Constitution and state law which include:

In orchestrating the governor’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), DEP imposed a carbon emissions tax, not a fee, which only the Legislature has the constitutional authority to implement, not the executive branch. 

Additionally, McDonnell and DEP failed to conduct in-person hearings on RGGI in impacted communities as required under the Air Pollution Control Act. The secretary also convened an Environmental Quality Board (EQB) meeting in which the RGGI regulation was voted on and approved in a room that was closed to the public, which is a clear violation of the Pennsylvania Sunshine Act.
DEP’s refusal to implement a manganese regulation clearly required by state law, and similarly, the department’s refusal to allow for the use of alternative on-lot septic systems as required by state law.

Most recently, DEP failed to follow Act 52 of 2016 which requires that separate regulations be promulgated for the conventional oil and gas industry when it proposed a regulation on Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) emissions.

The compete language of McDonnell’s article of impeachment can be reviewed here.

Representative Daryl Metcalfe
12th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Ty McCauslin
RepMetcalfe.com / Facebook.com/RepMetcalfe