|January 9, 2019 12:14 PM
|Senator Camera Bartolotta
|All Senate members
|Improving the Permit Appeals Process
|In the near future, I plan to introduce a two-bill package that amends the Environmental Hearing Board Act of 1988.
The first piece of legislation will provide more clarity regarding permit appeals from decisions made by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). All interested parties will continue to be afforded the opportunity to comment on the permit application and the DEP will review these comments as part of its decision making process. The DEP’s decision to issue or deny the permit will be based on the record developed. The difference now reflected in the legislation is that the standard for review by the Environmental Hearing Board shall be exclusively limited to the record of decision. Presently, appeals from all DEP decisions, including permit decisions, are subject to “de novo” review by the Environmental Hearing Board.
As a result of this legislation, the issued permits will be a better crafted product and companies will have confidence knowing their permits have been written to address any substantial, relevant questions pertaining to regulatory criteria raised during the public comment period.
The second piece of legislation will shorten the term period a judge serves on the Environmental Hearing Board’s membership from six to five years. It also restricts judges from serving more than two terms unless they began by filling in for a vacancy on the bench. The term of any member of the board who, as of the effective date of this section, has served more than ten years on the board, will expire at the end of his/her current term.
Please join me to cosponsor these important measures which are intended to improve the quality of permits issued and the process for appeals through the Environmental Hearing Board in Pennsylvania.
Introduced as SB726
|The purpose of this legislation is to provide more certainty to the permitting process by limiting the review on appeal to the permit record established by the Department of Environmental Protection in deciding to approve or deny the permit. The DEP’s decision to issue or deny the permit will be based on the record developed, and as a result, the issued permit will be a better crafted product.
Introduced as SB727
|This legislation proposes to change the terms of membership and add restrictions in relation to the Environmental Hearing Board. The bill shortens terms from six to five years and restricts judges from serving more than two terms unless they began by filling in for a vacancy on the bench.