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Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
  • Pressure seems to be working

  • It appears public pressure on the state government might actually be working.
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    It appears public pressure on the state government might actually be working.
    On today's front page, there is a story about the proposed DEP rules which many people in this area say will devastate the local economy.
    This issue surfaced less than two months ago but since that time, the public has certainly become educated about the proposal.
    And that education has turned into pressure being put on the state government to at least pay attention to the folks in rural northeastern Pennsylvania.
    First, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has now extended for one month the comment period about the proposed rules.
    That is a big first step.
    Secondly, there is a possibility the governor's office will be organizing some sort of public meeting about the issue. And that meeting will be held in this area — a huge step when it comes to the state government.
    Too many times, meetings like this are held in some cramped room in Harrisburg, usually during a weekday when hardly anyone can attend.
    So if there is even a chance such a meeting can be held in our neck of the woods, that's a small victory in itself.
    Wayne County Commission Chairman Brian Smith told us on Friday he thinks the pressure being applied is working.
    We hope he is right.
    It is Smith who has taken the lead in this issue. When he first learned about the proposed rules, Smith immediately began contacting our area representatives and anyone else who would listen.
    As it progressed, area officials were able to pull together a big meeting to discuss the issues and all of the our area representatives attended. That is a pretty big task, as well.
    Page 2 of 2 - Since that time, the elected representatives have been discussing the matter with their colleagues as well as with officials within the DEP.
    All of that appears to have gotten the attention of the folks in Harrisburg.
    Now, Gov. Tom Corbett needs to step up to the plate and talk publicly about the issue.
    We realize Corbett is in the middle of budget matters, but that shouldn't stop him from gaining knowledge about this issue.
    One of the big focal points of this issue has to do with our budget — namely the impact on the area economy. Corbett should realize this is a major matter and could have an impact throughout the Commonwealth.
    We at least know that Corbett's office is aware of this issue and the people of this region are to be thanked for that happening.
    And that gets us back to the main point.
    The people apparently still do have some power when it comes to how government operates.
    In this day and age of political divide and partisanship, sometimes it feels like the people have no impact on our elected leaders.
    We must also give credit to our elected representatives in Harrisburg. They have responded strongly to this issue and appear to be making an impact, as well.
    That speaks well of their influence in the halls of Harrisburg. It's an uphill fight for them as they our outnumbered greatly by representatives from the large urban areas of our state.
    Hopefully, all of this public pressure will lead to a positive resolution of this matter. It may not, however, at least everyone can say they gave it their best shot.
    But we hope for more than that and the people of this region are to thank for at least bringing this to the attention of those in power.

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