More Pushback on PA Senate Plan to Fix Slow DEP Permit Reviews

There is a growing storm of opposition to a plan put forward by the Pennsylvania Senate in the current budget bill to fix the problem of long delays in issuing permits by the state Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP). Enough traitorous Republicans in the Senate joined with just about all of the Democrats in the Senate to pass a budget bill that slaps new taxes on natural gas–a severance tax on drillers and a gross receipts tax on consumers (see Traitorous PA Senate Republicans Pass Severance Tax Bill). As an olive branch to the industry, Senate Republicans also included (in the budget bill) fixes to the slow DEP, to speed things up (see PA Senate’s “Olive Branch” of “Relaxed Regulations” for Drillers). The DEP has a policy of issuing erosion and sedimentation permits 14 days from the date of application. These types of permits are common and necessary when building roads, well pads, etc. Lately it has taken the DEP 250 days to issue those permits! Permits related to drilling wells are supposed to take no more than 45 days. Those permits now average 93 days. The DEP is hopelessly backlogged–and it’s getting worse. The Senate olive branch was meant to address this serious issue. But of course antis have (and continue) to come out in force to oppose the fix. Now, an assortment of previous Secretaries of the DEP have also voiced their concerns about the plan–including a voice we highly respect, Michael Krancer…

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