Last week the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) unveiled a new electronic tool for the pre-application process. The tool, entitled Permit Application Consultation Tool (PACT), was designed to make the process more efficient. According to the DEP, the tool will “quickly and easily assist potential applicants in determining which types of environmental permits, authorizations or notifications would be needed for specific projects”.
The tool follows the creation of the Permit Decision Guarantee policy, developed in 2012. This policy was intended to result in “more timely permitting decisions, provides clear expectations for applicants to improve the quality of permit applications, establishes performance measures for DEP’s permit review staff, and implements electronic permitting tools to enhance internal operations”.
The PACT will ask the user a series of questions relating to the project. The user is encouraged to know the location of the project and have a general knowledge of the construction and operation of the project before using the tool. The information will then be submitted and the tool will provide a determination of which permits, authorizations or notifications may be needed for the project.
The tool is meant to serve as a foundation for a Pre-Application meeting with the DEP. These meetings are strongly encouraged by the DEP to go over the results of the PACT and for permit coordination. The goal is that the tool will reduce time and resources necessary for the pre-application process.
“This is another example of DEP’s commitment to improving efficiency without sacrificing the quality or transparency of our reviews,” Acting DEP Secretary Chris Abruzzo said. “Since the original Permit Decision Guarantee was implemented last year, DEP has resolved 66 percent of all backlogged applications. This allows us to move much more efficiently on new permit applications, ensuring that they meet their target timeframes”.
EES has completed a number of environmental applications with the DEP and is extremely familiar with the permitting process, should your facility require assistance.
To learn more about the PACT, click here.