|Posted:||June 22, 2017 04:09 PM|
|From:||Senator Ryan P. Aument|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||Moving DEP Farm Permitting to SCC|
|In the near future, I intend to introduce a proposal that would transfer the permitting authority for projects on farms from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to the State Conservation Commission (SCC).
The Department of Environmental Protection oversees permitting for activities and projects in many different areas. If those activities or projects take place on a farm, there is often little expertise within DEP for reviewing the permit application, which leads to frustration and delays. These are projects to install best management practices to improve environmental quality!
My legislation, which is a companion to House Bill 1256, will require DEP to transfer its permitting authority for projects on farms to the SCC. The SCC is an administrative commission under the concurrent authority of both DEP and the Department of Agriculture and therefore has the expertise within its staff of both the environmental laws and agricultural practices. Since the SSC is already responsible for on-farm inspections and enforcement on behalf of DEP, it is the more logical place for agricultural permit application reviews.
Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation.
Introduced as SB879