The Pennsylvania DEP recently released a report regarding the progress of the switch from DEP’s money-back guarantee program for permit issuance to the new permit decision guarantee program, and according to DEP Secretary Mike Krancer, “the early results are nothing short of stunning.”
Under the permit decision guarantee program, applications are no longer reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis, but instead, those applications impacting the protection of public health, safety, and the environment, along with those impacting economic development and providing jobs, are given priority. In addition, the DEP drafted a policy that more clearly and concisely articulates the expectations for applicants with the hope that it eliminates time-consuming back-and-forth between applicants and regulators and creates more predictable review times for complete applications.
According to DEP’s report, the agency has increased its permit review efficiency by:
- 74 percent in the mining programs;
- 68 percent in the water programs;
- 67 percent in the waste, air, radiation, and remediation programs; and
- 19 percent in the oil and gas programs.
The improved efficiency has resulted in permit decisions meeting targeted time frames 98 percent of the time and has reduced the agency’s permit application backlog by over 39 percent.
INFO: Contact DEP’s Kevin Sunday at 717-787-1323.