Friday, February 28, 2014

DEP Publishes Final Policy On Public Participation In Permit Application Reviews

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the March 1 PA Bulletin of the final technical guidance and a comment/response document for the Policy on Public Participation in the Permit Application Review Process. (formal notice)
DEP received 1,803 comments during the public comment period on the guidance.  In response to the comments, DEP made a number of changes in the final version, among them--
-- Clarified that DEP will consider extending the comment period where permit applications have changed after the comment period closed;
-- In response to a recommendation to allow at least 10 days after the last public hearing on a permit to allow the public the opportunity to submit additional comments, DEP said it “strives to allow” at least two weeks after a hearing to allow ample opportunity for feedback;
-- DEP said it is upgrading both its eNotice system and PA Bulletin notices to provide more relevant information to the public in permit and technical guidance notices; and
-- A number of commenters suggested changes related to DEP’s Environmental Justice Policy which were not within the scope of this guidance.  DEP pointed out that policy is now undergoing changes.
DEP’s Citizens Advisory Council provided DEP early comments on the draft Policy last year.
Click Here for a copy of the guidance and the comment/response document.

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