The Pennsylvania House of Representatives will likely vote on two bills from the dangerous Energize PA Package to encourage more fracking and petrochemical facilities in our state. HB 1106 and 1107 are two bills that will change Pennsylvania's environmental permitting process.
Under HB 1106, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) would be given 30 days to review a permit application regulating air quality, waste, erosion and sedimentation, and dam safety and encroachments. With such a short window of time to review a permit, the public would lose their opportunity to share comments or concerns about the proposed project. It also creates a “referee” to decide disputes that arise between the DEP and applicants over the application completeness.
HB 1107 terminates all employees with the DEP who are involved with the permitting process, regardless of experience and education and replaces them with a politically appointed five-member Commission. The bill would require the transfer of all equipment, files, and funds used by the DEP to review permit applications to the new Commission. The bill does not require Commission to hold any qualifications including civil service requirements.
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