Tuesday, December 19, 2023

DEP Environmental Justice Update: Comments On Revised EJ Permit Review Policy; Funding & Comment Opportunities; Much More

latest Environmental Justice Update from the Department of Environmental Protection includes a quick summary of just some of the comments made on the revised Environmental Justice Permit Review Policy and highlights upcoming funding opportunities, public participation and educational opportunities.

Policy Comments

The DEP Office of Environmental Justice noted some recurring sentiments voiced at the recent series of public hearings on DEP's revised Environmental Justice Permit Review Policy--

-- Strong support from community members and advocacy groups for the implementation of an EJ policy, with strong desire for more enforcement authority, many stating they wished the policy had “more teeth”

-- Folks expressed appreciation for the implementation of suggestions from the previous rounds of public comments

-- Greater EJ consideration/coordination with transportation projects

Better pre-application permit coordinating/outreach to communities in EJ areas

-- Greater clarification on the PES tool and need for more user-friendly PES training

-- More consistent community engagement efforts in EJ areas

-- Micro-impact and contaminant settling issues in air quality considerations

-- More equitable funding/financing considerations for EJ impacted areas

Click Here to view approximately 650 letters of comment submitted to DEP through the eComment tool.

“Lookout for the public comment response document in the upcoming year.”

Other Highlights

The EJ Update also includes articles on--

-- 2024 Health Equity Summit in Harrisburg April 4-5

-- Temple University's Branching Up Green Jobs Program

-- Commonwealth Workforce Transformation Program

-- Climate Pollution Reduction Grants

-- DOE Methane Reduction Program from Oil & Gas Operations

-- $2 Billion in Environmental & Climate Justice Community Grants

-- RGGI Update

-- EPA Seeks Comments On TCE Concerns

-- Equitrans To Close Natural Gas Storage Area ahead of underground coal mining

-- EPA seeks comments on Public Participation Policy in Agency Decision-Making

Click Here to read the entire EJ UpdateClick Here to sign up for your own copy.

Visit DEP’s Office of Environmental Justice webpage to learn more.

For more information on environmental programs in Pennsylvania, visit DEP’s website, Report Emergencies, Submit Environmental Complaints; Click Here to sign up for DEP’s newsletter; sign up for DEP’s eNotice; visit DEP’s BlogLike DEP on Facebook, Follow DEP on Twitter and visit DEP’s YouTube Channel.

Related Article:

-- Marcellus Drilling News: Senate Republican Leaders Urge DEP To Withdraw Environmental Justice Policy Saying They Lack Statutory Authority, And Out-of-State Groups Not Actual Residents Express EJ Concerns  [PaEN]

[Posted: December 19, 2023]  PA Environment Digest

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