Wednesday, February 21, 2024

DEP: No Applicants Have Asked For Their Money Back Yet Under The PAyback Permit Review Money Back Guarantee Program

On February 21, DEP reported that since the state’s
PAyback Money Back Permit Review Guarantee Program started on November 1, 2023, no applicant for a DEP permit in the program has requested their permit application fee back.

            The comments were made at the DEP Environmental Justice Advisory Board meeting.

            “As of last week, we had about 2,100 pending authorizations that were received by DEP after November first,” said Ramez Ziadeh, Acting DEP Executive Deputy Secretary.  “And only four of these were overdue for review, so it's working. We started out with around about 22, now we're down to about four. 

“We do not have any requests for refunds right now, which is also good news. So, we're happy about that,” said Ziadeh.  “We monitor that every week. We monitor those numbers at the executive level, and it seems to be working really, really well right now, so we're very happy about that.”

Ziadeh told DEP’s Citizens Advisory Council in November the PAyback Program includes over 750 different permits and authorizations processed by the agency, based on the agency’s existing Permit Decision Guarantee Program renewed by Gov. Corbett.  Read more here.

Click Here for a copy of the permit list and review deadline for DEP and all agencies in the PAyback program.

Weekly Permit Reports

After a pause, DEP last week resumed reporting generally on its permit reviews and inspections on the front page of its website.

For the week ending February 11, DEP took action on 1,141 permits-- 93% within the Permit Decision Guarantee Program deadlines-- and conducted 1,496 inspections.  Read more here.

More Improvements Coming

Ziadeh said DEP is also continuing initiatives for electronic permitting for Chapter 102 (erosion and sedimentation) and Chapter 105 (waterways obstructions and encroachments) and improvements to the decades-old eFACTS compliance database. 

He noted the Governor’s FY 2024-25 budget request includes $7 million for IT modernization efforts at DEP, adding “it’s going to cost more than that.”

Visit the DEP Environmental Justice Advisory Board webpage for more information on environmental justice initiatives in DEP.  Questions should be directed to Jennifer McLuckie, at  or (717) 772-5633.

Related Article:

-- New DEP Tools: Energy Funding, Assistance Finder Tool Available For Environmental Justice Communities, Organizations; Equitable Climate Action Program Development Tool  [PaEN]

[Posted: February 21, 2024]  PA Environment Digest

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