Measures to Reduce Negative Impact of Government Regulations, Permitting Delays Move Forward

HARRISBURG – A number of measures to shield Pennsylvania communities from the negative impact of government regulations and permitting delays advanced in the Senate this week, according to Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-46).

The Senate approved legislation on Tuesday to strengthen the review process for government regulations and provide for better oversight by lawmakers.

Senate Bill 398 would ensure state agencies deliver proposed regulations to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) and to lawmakers in a timely manner to ensure a thorough review. The bill would also extend the time period for review to coincide with days the General Assembly is in session.

The bill would prevent situations in which state agencies could submit proposed regulations at a time when the General Assembly is in recess, preventing lawmakers from undertaking a comprehensive review and scheduling hearings to air concerns about how those regulations could affect Pennsylvania families and businesses.

Also on Tuesday, the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee approved two bills Bartolotta introduced to limit unnecessary delays in the appeals process for permits issued by the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

Senate Bill 726 would bring Pennsylvania in line with the federal process for reviewing and appealing permit decisions, and provide more clarity regarding permit appeals from decisions made by DEP. Senate Bill 727 would shorten terms on the Environmental Hearing Board from six to five years and restrict the number of terms that judges can serve.

The bills would restore accountability and integrity to the process of reviewing permits and prevent unnecessary and expensive delays relating to issues that were not raised during the permitting process, Bartolotta said.

“The fallout from government overreach and dysfunction is one of the biggest concerns I hear from the communities I represent,” Bartolotta said. “We need to do more to prevent government from making people’s lives more difficult, and these bills are a strong step in that direction.”

 

CONTACT: Katrina Hanna (717) 787-1463