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04/21/2024 10:42 PM
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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: December 1, 2022 11:32 AM
From: Senator Kristin Phillips-Hill and Sen. Greg Rothman
To: All Senate members
Subject: Transparency in Permitting
We have all heard concerns from those who have had to deal with applying for one of the various types of permits in different state agencies. Businesses, local governmental entities, non-profits and individuals have commented on the unreasonable delay and uncertainty involved in the process which often leads to delayed start time on important projects, frustration, and monetary loss. Often times, these entities have no idea where their permit is in the process or why it has been withheld. The permitting process should be a collaborative effort between the entity seeking the permit and government and not something that is overly burdensome or punitive.  
Therefore, in the near future, we will be reintroducing Senate Bill 28 of last session to reform the permitting process. Our legislation will require all agencies, which issue permits, to increase transparency throughout the process. This legislation will require agencies to post information about the permits that they grant on their website, to create an accessible tracking system for applicants to check the status of their applications and to clearly state the legal authority that the agency relies on when rejecting a permit application. 

The tracking system shall include processing time, dates of each permit, completeness review, technical review, elevated review, and an estimated time remaining for each incomplete phase of the permit approval process, and a contact person assigned to answer questions about the application process. This will allow for greater transparency, which gives those individuals who are applying for permits, more peace of mind and assurance that they have not been forgotten in the process. We must reform this process to help businesses and business owners throughout the Commonwealth.

Governor-elect Shapiro even highlighted on the campaign trail the need to provide our businesses with permitting transparency and dates when permits can be expected in order to retain existing employers and attract new employers to our Commonwealth.
Please join us in co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation, which promotes an accountable government that provides more clarity to businesses applying for permits. 
Previous co-sponsors include Senators Martin, Aument, Stefano, J. Ward, DiSanto, and Mastriano.

Introduced as SB350