PA Rep tries to make DEP permitting process much easier with new bill

06 June 2024- State Rep. Jim Struzzi (R, Indiana) announced today the introduction of House Resolution 468, his legislation which will direct the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee (LBFC) to conduct a survey on the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) permitting processes.

In reaction to budget hearings held earlier this year, DEP Acting Secretary Jessica Shirley provided a list of 800 permits issued by her department.

“The issuance of 800 permits from DEP begs the question of whether there are duplicative or unnecessary permits required by the department,” shared Struzzi. “We need to understand why this number is so high, and if some of them are not necessary.”

“This is about ensuring government efficiency. Pennsylvania has plenty of places where we can do things better, and any serious look at ways to improve governmental process moves us a step closer to growing our economy and attracting more business and opportunity to the Commonwealth.”

The directed study of DEP’s permits by the LBFC under HR 468 will determine the following:

  • A total list of all permits issued by DEP and the statutory reference, which includes the initial date of permit issuance.
  • A review of all permits issued by DEP to identify overlapping, inconsistent or antiquated permits.
  • A review of which permits are required under federal law or regulation, an analysis of which permits go beyond requirements of federal law or regulation or are not required by the federal government.
  • A review of the utilization and implementation of DEP permits over a full calendar year to determine the total number of each permit applied for and identifying which permits are filed electronically or by paper; the maximum and minimum wait time for the approval of each permit and the number of permits necessary per applicant.
  • An analysis and comparison of other state environmental protection permits to determine the best practices and provide suggestions for improving performance while preserving the DEP’s mission.
  • An analysis and comparison of total and individual resources and workloads for the permitting programs and all offices charged with administration of the programs.