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Politics & Government

DEP Tightens Permit Process Permit Wrap_Emily Farah_SOC.mp3

In response to Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett's executive order at the end of July urging state agencies to do more with fewer dollars, the state's Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is implementing a stricter process for reviewing applications and issuing permits.

Kevin Sunday, DEP spokesperson, said the proposed procedure to apply for waste management, air quality, oil, and gas permits is very strict.

"If the application is missing a section of the application right off the bat, we're going to deny it," Sunday said.  "If everything is there, but as we start to review it the information isn't technically sound enough to make a determination, we will them one chance to straighten it out."

The DEP estimated nearly half of all applications submitted to the agency are incomplete.  The new process aims to address that issue.

"We're going to ask everyone in the permitting process to step up their game," Sunday said.  "That's the businesses, non-profits, and local governments looking for permits and the DEP permit review staff that's going to make the decisions on them."

Sunday said two webinars will be held by the DEP to serve as a portal for suggestions, concerns, and questions about the new procedure from 2-3:00 p.m. on September 5th and 10th.

"We're looking for a more pro business environment here, something that stands up for the taxpayer, and delivers the kind of government service that people should expect for the taxpayer money that they send every year into Harrisburg," Sunday said.

To participate in the webinars, registration is required on the DEP website.