Friday, February 8, 2013

Feb. 11 PA Environment Digest Now Available

The Feb. 11 PA Environment Digest is now available.  Click Here to print entire Digest.

DEP Citizens Advisory Council Meets Feb. 19 On Public Participation Policy, More

The Citizens Advisory Council to the Department of Environmental Protection will meet on February 19 starting at 11:00 to hear what DEP has planned for updating its permit review public participation policy and a presentation on water testing.
Also on the agenda are updates on DEP’s Permit Decision Guarantee Process and an air pollution monitoring study conducted by DEP in addition to DEP’s regular department update.
The Council is also set to act on a Workplan to focus its activities during 2013 in light of cuts to the Council’s budget.  The priorities include--
-- The Department’s performance in advancing transparency and public participation in policy development, program implementation, public service, enforcement actions and permitting decisions.
-- Ongoing review and analysis of Department activities as mandated by state statutes (for example, the Bituminous Mine Subsidence and Land Conservation Act and the Air Pollution Control Act).
-- Providing a forum for issues brought by the public to the CAC, as appropriate. Council will review pending issues quarterly.
-- Consult with, and bring issues to the attention of, the legislature.
-- The Department’s ability to fulfill its statutorily mandated responsibilities and mission in light of continued budget cuts at the state and federal level.
In addition to these priorities, these policies will guide Council activities--
-- The CAC will no longer provide general letters of support to the Department on finalized policy proposals, unless the CAC was actively engaged and involved in the development of those proposals. General letters of support should be left to the DEP program advisory committee/boards.
-- The CAC will not seek to debate the technical merits of individual permitting decisions unless there are overall policy/guidance/regulatory implications. The Council will, however, remain focused on public involvement and opportunities for public input in the decision making process, and will continue to bring public concerns on particular issues or activities to light. When no specific program advisory committee exists or is not active or an issue impacts multiple programs, Council will have the option to fill that role.
-- The CAC will work as a public forum for monthly summaries and updates from the Department on significant Department activities. This may include asking for further information or clarification on Department statements or positions.
A copy of the agenda is available online.  The meeting will be held in Room 105 Rachel Carson Building, Harrisburg.
For more information, visit the Citizens Advisory Council webpage.

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