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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Wolf Administration Announces Changes to Improve Wetland and Waterway Encroachment Permit Review Times

New forms and instructions for Chapter 105 General Permit Registrations should reduce review times

Harrisburg, PA – As part of the Wolf administration’s efforts to reduce permit backlogs, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced revisions to the instructions and forms for Chapter 105 General Permit Registrations relating to water obstructions and encroachments. These revisions will improve the quality of General Permit registration requests, eliminate unnecessary redundancies, and reduce review time frames. The new forms and instructions will go into effect beginning March 26, 2018.

“As part of DEP’s effort to reduce permit review backlogs, these changes will help DEP staff complete the review of thousands of Chapter 105 General Permit registration requests received annually in a more expeditious manner,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “DEP discussed changes to the required forms and instructions with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other agencies to ensure that the changes do not affect the environmental protections of the permits.”

The new forms and instructions are available on the DEP website, and will be available for use for all Chapter 105 General Permit Registrations beginning March 26, 2018. All information can be found here: http://www.depgreenport.state.pa.us/elibrary/GetFolder?FolderID=4070

The main changes to the forms and instructions were to condense forms and eliminate unnecessary information. More information on the type of eliminated information can be found in the Pennsylvania Bulletin: https://www.pabulletin.com/secure/data/vol48/48-8/294.html

“DEP will continue to explore ways to improve our permit review processes, while ensuring that any changes to those processes don’t hinder our mission to protect Pennsylvania’s air, land, and water from pollution,” said McDonnell. “These changes are meant to encourage responsible and environmentally safe development.”

An informational webinar was held on March 6, 2018 for potential permit applicants and others in the regulated community to review the changes. A recording of that webinar is available at http://www.dep.pa.gov/DataandTools/Webinars/Pages/Water-Management.aspx

DEP has been working to reduce permit backlogs across the department through a variety of means, outlined in the Permitting Reform White Paper released in January 2018. These reforms have included investments in technology, reassigning workloads across regional offices, and new technical guidance for permit reviews. The Permitting Reform White Paper can be found here: http://files.dep.state.pa.us/LicensingPermitsCertification/PermitDecisionGuaranteePortalFiles/Permitting_Reform_01262018.pdf

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

this should help with the Frack waste problem... Wet Land enough said