HARRISBURG, Pa., May 15, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Department of Environmental Protection and permit applicants continue to improve performance, according to the second of four quarterly reports on revised permitting policies the agency released today. DEP also announced a new permit pre-application information tool that allows potential applicants to quickly determine which permits and authorizations may be needed for a project.
"Governor Corbett challenged DEP and all those who apply for permits when he signed the Executive Order that created Permit Decision Guarantee," DEP Acting Secretary Chris Abruzzo said. "As our second quarterly report shows, we are continuing to improve efficiency when reviewing permits, and applicants are submitting better applications.
"Permit Decision Guarantee is a shining example how pro-growth policies work hand-in-hand with environmental protection."
On July 24, 2012, Corbett signed an executive order tasking DEP with implementing Permit Decision Guarantee. In response, DEP developed the Permit Review Process and Permit Decision Guarantee policy and the Permit Coordination policy. The second quarterly report provides a cumulative update on the agency's progress since the policies took effect Nov. 14, 2012.
Since that time, the data show DEP has increased permit review efficiency by 56 percent in the Mining program; 45 percent in the Water programs; 35 percent in the Waste, Air, Radiation and Remediation programs; and 10 percent in the Oil and Gas program.
Permit Decision Guarantee established guaranteed timeframes in which DEP will make a decision on 278 types of permits and authorizations, provided the application is complete and technically adequate in the first submission. To date, DEP staff members are meeting these timeframes 96 percent of the time.
For all other applications, DEP has established timeframes that the agency is striving to meet. In the six months since the policies were implemented, staff are meeting these timeframes 97 percent of the time. Staff members have also cleared 54 percent of the queue of standing permit applications that were in-house when Corbett signed the executive order last July.
The agency also released today the Pre-Application Information Tool, which is available online and allows applicants to quickly and easily determine which types of environmental permits, authorizations and notifications may be required for a project. An interactive version of the tool will be released later this summer.
DEP will release subsequent reviews of the permitting policies in each of the next two quarters.
For more information or to view the quarterly report, visit www.dep.state.pa.us and click the "Permit Decision Guarantee" button on the homepage. To access the Pre-Application Information Tool, enter the keyword: Permits.
Media contact: Kevin Sunday, 717-787-1323
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection