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PITTSBURGH — Critics say a new order from Gov. Tom Corbett will pressure state employees to more quickly approve environmental permits, including Marcellus Shale gas wells and projects that involve sensitive wetlands or ecosystems.

The order, signed July 24, is described as a "Permit Decision Guarantee" for the Department of Environmental Protection. Environmental advocates say the order directs the agency to "consider compliance with the review deadlines a factor in any job performance evaluations" of staff.

"It's going to put the public health and safety at risk," said George Jugovic Jr., a former top DEP employee who supervised a staff of more than 200 as the agency's Southwest regional director. "I think the message is clear. Issuing the permit has a higher priority than doing a fair and thorough job of insuring that the application complies with the law."
Complies with the law?....Just semantics

Maybe we need a drive-thru permit window?

Critics: Pennsylvania permit order threatens environment
 

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Looks like a lot of money could be saved if the state got rid of compliance investigators and just bought by a gross of rubber stamps.
 

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"I think the message is clear. Issuing the permit has a higher priority than doing a fair and thorough job of insuring that the application complies with the law."


Maybe the message is that some state agencys drag their feet with everything, and it's time to step up and get thing's done in a timely mannor?


I am sure most on here could tell a story about dealing with the state, one dep't or another, and clearly seeing there was no sense of urgency on their part........heck, just go to the DMV some day to get a license or documents.
 

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Two ways to view such news: Can view it like the writer and other critics do, as some sort of easing of regs.

Or, view it as an elimination of <span style="font-style: italic">some</span> of the hurdles that many different industries and individuals must face, to get much of anthing approved by the state or local bureaucrats?

I handled building, excavation, land use and sewer permit applications for years, when I worked in construction.

The developer/builder I worked for from '72 until '86, once commented on the pile of applications and permits for ONE house we were about to build, in the early 80s. Said it used to take him about four or five years back in the 50s and 60s, to amass <span style="text-decoration: underline">that</span> much paperwork....for dozens and dozens of houses, developments, streets, sewer lines, etc.

The recent Dimock fiasco should oughta serve some purpose to edumacate these critics? When DEP was criticised and they demanded EPA step in, what was the result?

So now, the enviro-fanatics are charging "Corbett's" DEP as being lax on enforcement, but when "Obama's" EPA got a whack at things, nothing much came out differently.
 

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Do you really think DEP is going to issue permits in a timely manor? This I got to see, a state agency with a gear other then slow!!
 

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No I don't, and that is exactly why I think this has way more to do with the lack of a timely manor withen a state dep't , than anything else.
Put this in the hands of a private run company, and the standards would be much higher, both for safety, as well as due dilagance in a timely fashion......!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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We have been building well locations, drilling wells, and building pipelines for years here in PA. Only difference now is that for a few years it was VERY busy. DEP took 6 months to a year to approve certain permits! (not drilling permits, they only take 35 to 40 days) It didn't matter if it was in a sensitive area or not. I can't run a business that way. Let a registered engineer submit the paperwork, and his license is on the line if it doesn't meet standards.

The problem with the DEP is that the laws and regulations are so convoluted at times that many working there won't make a decision on their own without going up the chain. Dragging their feet on even the smallest of details.
Paralysis by analysis.

The majority of the problems you hear about in the news are minor issues that don't cause pollution or safety concerns. The state of well construction and drilling today, the attention to detail for the environment and safety, is unlike anything I have seen during my career.
 

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The problem with the DEP is that the laws and regulations are so convoluted at times that many working there won't make a decision on their own without going up the chain.
Isn't that what happened towards the end of Rendell's administration? Regional managers were "relieved" of the responsibility to approve and everything had to go to Harrisburg for a decision, if not mistaken? So that sort of "oversight" is bound to greatly increase permit issuance time.

I'll offer an example of bureaucratic nuttiness. For years we had to submit plans for two story townhouses to not only local building officials, but also to PA Labor and Industry. Since we're close to Harrisburg, I took the "funny papers" directly to their main building at the Capitol Complex. It involved hours of sitting in the waiting room, even with an appointment. None of those appointments were ever met anywhere close to the time scheduled.

Sometime in the mid-70s, went over for such an appointment, prints in hand. Sat there for about two hours and when it was my turn, the guy spent a few minutes looking at the plans, said, "Oh, we no longer exercise any jurisdiction over these two story units with a vertical "one family" lay out. We only handle units with the second or subsequent stories for separate family lay outs." Duh!

When I asked him why they didn't notify anyone who typically had come in with the type of units like we built, that L&I no longer "ruled" on such units, he said they figured they'd just "notify" them as they brought in those sorts of plans.

No skin off'n my nose. I got to clean up, change clothes and sit in an air conditioned building for a few hours that day, while the rest of the boys toiled in the hot sun. Boss wasn't too happy, neither were my coworkers.

 

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The new policy is purely semantics. It sounds good in theory and I am sure industry is supportive, but I highly doubt that the way the DEP conducts business will change much, if it even changes at all.
 

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DEPs hands are tied by the clowns in Harrisburg. Under funded, over stretched and unable to make decisions or write fines without the approval of Harrisburgs gas industry insiders appointed to police themselves....
 

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Since EPA decided to push DEP aside and intercede in some of these gas issues in PA, which "gas insiders in Harrisburg" are pulling EPA's strings?
 
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