|Posted:||February 3, 2017 12:30 PM|
|From:||Representative Stephen Bloom|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Fairness in Environmental Protection Permitting|
Legislators across our commonwealth are hearing from environmentally responsible individuals and businesses, small and large, who are being frustrated by a chronic lack of accountability and transparency in the Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) permitting processes. Further, there are persistent reports of arbitrary delays, disparities and inconsistencies in these processes. The unfair and unnecessary obstacles being imposed on responsible applicants are costing jobs, wreaking havoc with fragile project finances and capital investment, and ultimately depriving the commonwealth of opportunities for economic growth and the accompanying tax revenue, all with no additional beneficial impact on the protection of environmental safety and quality.
Therefore, in the near future I will be introducing legislation to restore fairness to the environmental protection permitting process.
Specifically, my legislation will require that in any instance where DEP formally communicates to a project applicant that an application is lacking information needed to make a decision (such as granting a permit or authorization) or is deficient with respect to complying with relevant statutory or regulatory criteria, DEP shall clearly and concisely state in writing what information or data is lacking and/or what corrections must be made to the application.
In any such instance, DEP shall be further required to:
Please join me in cosponsoring this important legislation.
Introduced as HB1353