In a move to speed the regulatory approval process for businesses, Gov. Tom Corbett on Tuesday signed an executive order demanding the Department of Environmental Protection establish firm time limits for reviewing environmental permitting applications.
The permit decision guarantee replaces a 1995 executive order establishing a money-back-guarantee for permit fees paid by applicants that DEP could not complete in time.
“One of the biggest complaints I have received over and over again is the time it takes for businesses, nonprofit organizations and local governments to work through the permitting process,” Corbett said in a statement. “I promised to correct this, and today we are setting the wheels in motion to deliver on that promise.”
Corbett’s order notes that the permit decision guarantee may extend to permits “with the most direct impacts on the protection of public health, safety and the environment, as well as economic development.” It also notes that an applicant’s permit must be judged complete before the clock starts ticking.