On November 1, 2013, Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection announced that it is opening the Permit Decision Guarantee policy for a supplemental 30-day comment period. The Permit Decision Guarantee policy (PDG) rescinded and replaced the Money-Back Guarantee policy when it was implemented in November of 2012. The PDG requires the DEP to make permitting decisions within published timeframes for completed applications. The PDG aims to expedite permit decisions and to provide applicants predictability by making the regulatory and statutory requirements clear. Under the new process, the DEP reviews permits based on an established priority rather than on a "first-in-first-out" basis. Currently, permits necessary for environmental protection and restoration are the highest priority permits. The Permit Decision Guarantee program is only available for certain types of permits, which are listed in the policy as Appendix A. The DEP's Acting Secretary Chris Abruzzo stated that, "The comments we receive after this first year of implementation will help shape the future direct of DEP's permitting."
The PA DEP's press release is available here: http://www.portal.state.pa.us/
The Permit Decision Guarantee policy may be found here: http://files.dep.state.pa.us/
ProgramIntegration/ PermitDecisionGuaranteePortalF iles/021-2100-001_PRP_and_PDG_ Policy.pdf
Written by: Tom Panighetti
November 5, 2013