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permit decision Guarantee


Executive Order 2012-11 (PDF) was signed into law on July 24, 2012. It required DEP to implement a Permit Decision Guarantee by immediately:

  • Assessing how best to make timely permitting decisions;
  • Providing clear expectations for applicants to improve the quality of applications;
  • Establishing performance measures for review staff; and
  • Developing, improving and encouraging electronic permitting tools.

DEP has been reviewing all existing permitting procedures and has made several effective improvements. Providing regulatory certainty to local governments, non-profit organizations and businesses is critical. DEP's focus will be on receiving complete and adequate applications and the amount of time it should take to review them.

Final Policies

Executive Order 2012-11 rescinded a 1995 Executive Order establishing the Money Back Guarantee. The "Permit Review Process and Permit Decision Guarantee" policy, which can be viewed below, replaces the former Money Back Guarantee policy. The "Permit Coordination Policy" provides how DEP will review projects in need of multiple permits. Each policy also has an accompanying comment and response document, which includes a discussion on comments received during the public comment period.

2013 Public Comment Period - Comment Response Document

DEP held a public comment period on the "Policy for Implementing the Department of Environmental Protection Permit Review Process and Permit Decision Guarantee" (policy). This supplementary comment period offered on the final policy allowed stakeholders an opportunity to provide feedback on the effectiveness of the policy. Following the review of the internal and external comments the Department elected not to make any revisions to the policy. A comment response document has been prepared in response to the external comments that were submitted. The Department appreciates the feedback that was received and will continue to review the policy, process and timeframes yearly.

2013 Public Comment Period - Comment Response Document (PDF)

Learning More about the Permit Decision Guarantee

If you have questions about the Permit Decision Guarantee and DEP's revised permitting process, visit www.dep.pa.gov and click on the Permit Decision Guarantee button. Please click here (PDF) for a printable one-page handout on the Permit Review Process and Permit Decision Guarantee.