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Friday, October 13, 2017

DEP Accepting Feedback on Enhancing Public Engagement

Harrisburg, PA – In order to enhance public engagement, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced its proposed improvements to three policy documents, and is seeking comments on the proposed updates. The policies focus on development and review of regulations, interaction with Advisory Committees, and development and publication of technical guidance.

Originally developed in the 1990s, these policies provide an overview of how DEP implements the Commonwealth’s regulatory review process, the function of its advisory committees, boards and councils, and DEP’s Technical Guidance Document development process, respectively.

The Policy for the Development and Review of Regulations illustrates the avenues an individual can take to engage with DEP during the regulatory process. Additional clarity was added to specify what, why and how DEP carries out its regulatory obligations under the Regulatory Review Act.

The Advisory Committee Guidelines reflect the integration of technology in advisory meetings, providing additional flexibility and transparency to the public and stakeholders. The policy will help provide consistency regarding expectations for DEP staff, committee members, and the public for all meetings.

The Policy for the Development and Publication of Technical Guidance improves readability, outlines DEP’s key considerations for the development of TGDs, and provides direction to individuals interested in providing or reviewing comments submitted to DEP during a public comment period.

“These updated policies will provide a clearer path for the public to engage with DEP during the development of regulations and technical guidance documents,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “It’s essential that we have the best possible process to receive feedback from Pennsylvania’s residents and businesses in the development of policies that protect the environment.”

DEP will accept comments on all three policies from October 14 through December 13. To view the draft policies and submit comments electronically using DEP’s eComment system, visit: www.ahs.dep.pa.gov/eComment

Written comments on the draft policies should be sent to Abbey Cadden, Technical Guidance Coordinator, Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Policy, Rachel Carson State Office Building, P.O. Box 2063, Harrisburg, PA 17105-2063.

Comments submitted by facsimile will not be accepted. All comments, including those submitted by email, must include the originator’s name and address.

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