|Posted:||January 11, 2017 02:41 PM|
|From:||Representative David H. Zimmerman|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Improving DEP Permitting Process (Prior HB1666)|
|It seems that rarely a week passes without a call to our offices from constituent businesses inquiring about the status of various permits. And, in this time of open and accountable government, we can and should provide better information to those seeking permit approvals as well as those that hold current permits.
Accordingly, in the near future I will reintroduce legislation (prior HB1666) requiring our Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to create and maintain a secure online permit tracking system available to applicants for tracking the status of permit applications. Here, applicants could follow along with the status of their approvals so that they may be better able to plan the different phases of their projects.
Moreover, as many permits can extend over several years, my legislation would also require DEP to provide electronic notifications to permit holders 60 days before the permit’s expiration date as well as notifications regarding changes in statues, regulations, and fees that may affect a permit. Finally, the bill clarifies that when a permit as part of a project issued prior to the effective date of any legislation or regulation altering the requirements for that permit, the provisions under which the permit was granted shall remain valid until the project is completed.
Improving our permitting process in this manner provides transparency and will help to make Pennsylvania a more attractive place to conduct business.
Thank you for your consideration in cosponsoring this important piece of legislation.
Introduced as HB587