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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 30, 2019 11:14 AM
From: Representative Kerry A. Benninghoff
To: All House members
Subject: DEP Accountability
Throughout Pennsylvania, I continue to hear stories of vital economic development projects being held up, and in some cases prevented, by state government agencies like the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). These projects are important to our communities; projects that would allow farmers and small business owners to expand their operations, projects that would provide employment opportunities for working Pennsylvanians and projects that would ensure our low-cost energy resources make their way to market.

Far too many projects have been stalled because of inefficient and unpredictable permitting processes. Unfortunately, our flawed and lengthy processes signal to businesses that their investment is not welcome in Pennsylvania. This is unacceptable and must change.

In the near future, I intend to introduce two pieces of legislation that would insert certainty, predictability, transparency and accountability into our state permitting processes. The legislation would not change or decrease any environmental protections, but would give businesses the ability to plan their projects effectively, not reside in indefinite permitting limbo at the mercy of state bureaucrats.

If we want to move Pennsylvania forward, we must have permitting processes that are reasonable and responsive to businesses that are trying to create jobs. In the governor’s words, we must have a “Government that Works.”

Please join me in co-sponsoring these two pieces of legislation to ensure Pennsylvania doesn't continue to lose investment and economic development opportunities because of state government.

Document #1

Introduced as HB420

Description: Bill 1 (Former HB 1090):   Holds DEP accountable to specified timeframes and procedures for the initial review, approval and rejection of permit applications.

Document #2

Introduced as HB421

Description: Bill 2 (Former HB 1091):  Creates a process whereby applicants that fail to receive a final permit decision by the review deadline imposed under either law, regulation or Executive Order may appeal the failure of DEP to act to the Environmental Hearing Board. The Environmental Hearing Board would then be empowered to determine whether the applicant has satisfactorily met the permit requirements.