|Posted:||February 25, 2015 10:51 AM|
|From:||Representative W. Curtis Thomas|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||DEP Public Notification|
|I plan to introduce legislation that will improve the delivery of information from Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and permit applicants to the general public. It is based partly upon current DEP protocol in relation to Environmental Justice Areas, which are U.S. Census tracts where 20 percent or more individuals live in poverty and/or 30 percent or more of the population is minority.
Under this bill, DEP would require pipeline operators to notify property owners affected by their proposed pipeline. This is in line with current Federal Energy Regulatory Commission requirements. In cases where pipeline operators are seeking a specified list of DEP permits, the bill would require notification to residents within a half-mile of the project. Currently, DEP requires similar protocols within Environmental Justice Areas.
Finally, the new act would require DEP to post on its website permit applications and supporting public documents, such as engineering studies, to ensure easier public access to the information. By doing so, Pennsylvania’s DEP will follow in the footsteps of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which provides internet access to permit applications and supporting documents.
Please join me in sponsoring this legislation.
(Formally HB 2519 2013-14)
Introduced as HB818