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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: December 31, 2018 09:50 AM
From: Representative David H. Zimmerman
To: All House members
Subject: DEP Permitting Review Timeframes – Erosion & Sediment Control Program (Prior House Bill 588 – 17/18 Session)
As you know, pollution from storm water runoff, erosion, and sedimentation can lead to significant pollution in our waterways. Accordingly, our Department of Environmental Protection regulates earth disturbance activities as sources of these problems through its 25 Pa Code, Chapter 102 Erosion and Sediment Control program.

However, we have all heard concerns regarding the timeliness of permit reviews for these projects. Likewise, we have all heard concerns about DEP staffing and funding. Accordingly, in the near future, I will reintroduce legislation that requires DEP to complete its permitting approval or disapproval within a reasonable 45 days so that our industries have a predictable timeframe to use for their planning purposes.

In addition, this legislation requires that any permit application submitted by a license engineer, licensed under the Engineer, Land Surveyor and Geologist Registration Law (Act 367 of 1945) shall be approved within 20 days of receipt. These folks are putting forth their license and reputation when submitting permit applications and therefore their applications should require less review. This would then allow more staff time for other projects.

We have to protect our waterways. There is no other choice. But we can add sensible timeframes for permit reviews and allow our licenses and licensed professionals to stand on their merits.

Please join me in cosponsoring this important piece of legislation.

Introduced as HB414