PA 18-146—sSB 265

Commerce Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING EXPEDITED PERMITTING PROCEDURES BY THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION FOR BUSINESS INITIATION, EXPANSION OR NEW PRODUCTION AND ANNUAL REPORTING ON THE NUMBER OF ENVIRONMENTAL VIOLATIONS RESOLVED WITHOUT FINANCIAL PENALTY

SUMMARY: This act requires the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to hold a permit pre-application meeting, upon request, with any business seeking to start a new business or manufacturing production line or expand an existing business. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the application of any DEEP permit needed to perform the business activity. Businesses may request a pre-application meeting in person, in writing, by phone, or through an electronic form, which DEEP must post on its website.

Under the act, within 30 days after receiving a pre-application meeting request, the DEEP commissioner must make reasonable efforts to (1) schedule the meeting with the requestor; (2) identify the information DEEP needs to process the permit applications for which the meeting was requested; and (3) provide the requestor with an estimated final decision date for those applications.

After it issues its final decisions on the associated permit applications, DEEP must survey the business that requested a pre-application meeting to collect information on its experience with the pre-application and permitting process.

By law, DEEP annually submits a report to the legislature on its permitting efforts during the preceding fiscal year. The act requires it to include in this report (1) a summary of the information collected from the survey described above, (2) the average time for processing permit applications discussed in pre-application meetings, (3) the number of violations DEEP's environmental quality division investigated in the previous fiscal year, and (4) the number of those violations that it resolved without levying a fine.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2018