On July 22, 2013, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection announced that it would extend the public comment period on the new draft Public Participation Policy. The draft Policy would supplement existing Public Participation guidelines in the approval process for permits across the state, including natural gas drilling permits. The DEP is seeking to provide a framework within the existing regulatory and statutory permit application requirements for members of the public to comment and the DEP to responds to the comments on pending permit applications.
The new guidelines provide the public the option to: 1) comment on pending applications, electronically or by letter; 2) scheduling and hosting formal public hearings; 3) public information meetings where required by regulation or statute, and at the discretion of the DEP; and 4) informal conferences between specific parties to an issue.
For more information on the draft policy guidelines, visit the DEP’s website, and for the guidelines’ full text click this link.
Written by: Garrett Lent, Research Assistant
Agricultural Law Resource and Reference Center