HARRISBURG – Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-46) introduced legislation today that would establish the state Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) current erosion and sediment control policies in state law and provide greater transparency and accountability to the application review process.
Erosion and sediment control permits are required before commencement of any earthmoving activity greater than five acres for projects that are not already covered under a comparable federal permit.
DEP policy specific to these permits mandates that the review process take less than 45 days, or 14 days if the applicant goes through an expensive and technical expedited process. However, even expedited reviews – those in which a company has employed a professional engineer to prepare the permit and therefore only requires a technical review by the department – currently may take in excess of 100 days.
“DEP’s current permitting process helps protect against pollution and supports the responsible development and protection of our natural resources, but delays in the review process for certain permits can discourage capital investments in critical infrastructure projects,” Bartolotta said. “My legislation recognizes the importance of the environmental safeguards DEP has developed while ensuring applicants are not subjected to unreasonable delays in the review process.”
Bartolotta’s bill would establish reporting requirements to ensure accountability and transparency not only regarding the amount of time DEP spends reviewing applications, but also in reference to the number of permits applied for and issued.
CONTACT: Katrina Anderson (717) 787-1463