Oversight change on gas drilling
Approval of enforcement actions and punishments aimed at Marcellus Shale drilling operators must now go through top officials in the Department of Environmental Protection in a change that the agency said yesterday was aimed at improving its consistency in handling the rapidly growing industry.
Acting Secretary Michael Krancer is changing the procedure after receiving complaints that agency staff in different regions of Pennsylvania were carrying out their responsibilities unevenly, a department spokeswoman said.
The new policy covers a variety of enforcement actions that can require a company to pay a fine or correct a problem, spokeswoman Katy Gresh said.
Crackdown on toll cheats
New Jersey is planning to crack down on motorists who go through exact-change lanes on the Garden State Parkway without paying their tolls.
Officials say that the toll cheats cost the state $4 million a year in lost revenue, noting that many drivers toss slugs, rocks and other foreign objects into the collection baskets as they zip through the toll booths.
So the state plans to have a video system in place by summer's end to capture the license plates of violators. They also will double the fine imposed on toll cheats, raising it from $25 to $50.
Casino handicap-access review
The U.S. Attorney's Office in New Jersey is reviewing handicapped access to Atlantic City's 11 casinos after receiving numerous complaints that the casinos are inaccessible to those with disabilities.
Officials want to make sure that the gambling houses and their hotels and other facilities are complying with the Americans With Disabilities Act. The law enables the federal Justice Department to make periodic reviews of places covered by the law.
Surveys were sent to all 11 casinos asking for details of how patrons with disabilities are able to enter and use the premises.
- Staff and wire report