Friday, July 13, 2018

DEP Invites Comments On Revised Environmental Justice Public Participation Policy

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the July 14 PA Bulletin inviting public comments on a revised Environmental Justice Public Participation Policy technical guidance (DEP ID: 012-0501-002).
Historically, minority and low-income residents of this Commonwealth have not had equitable opportunities to participate in decisions that may adversely impact their environment.
This policy outlines opportunities for community involvement and public participation in the individual permit application process in Environmental Justice Areas.
The revisions to this policy clarify how individuals living in Environmental Justice Areas may have additional opportunities to engage with the Department and permit applicants through public meetings, public comment periods, public access to permit documents and other measures in the effort to increase participation throughout decision making processes.
To accurately capture the number of residents of this Commonwealth living in Environmental Justice Areas, the Department updated its definition of Environmental Justice Area to be ''Any census block group with a 30 percent or greater minority population or 20 percent or greater at or below the poverty level as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau.''
Click Here for a copy of the revised technical guidance. Click Here for the 2004 Environmental Justice Public Participation Policy.
Comments are due August 28.  Commentators are encouraged to submit comments using the Department's online eComment tool or by email to:
Written comments may be mailed to the Technical Guidance Coordinator, Department of Environmental Protection, Policy Office, Rachel Carson State Office Building, P.O. Box 2063, Harrisburg, PA 17105-2063. Comments submitted by facsimile will not be accepted.
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