Permit Reform Initiative
On January 26, 2018, Governor Tom Wolf and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced the administration's plan to reduce permit backlogs, modernize permitting processes, and better utilize technology to improve both oversight and efficiency. The action is a result of a yearlong effort to identify and implement strategies that will help DEP meet the goals of the Permit Decision Guarantee, while continuing to issue strong permits with strict environmental protections.
Permits, Licensing & Certifications
Welcome to the Permits, Licensing and Certifications Center. On this page is information on the pre-application information tool, the permit review process and permit decision guarantee, information on permit and authorization packages, and instructions on how to find and track permit applications.
Permit Application Consultation Tool (PACT)
As part of its continuing effort to create a more efficient permit application procedure, DEP has developed an online Permit Application Consultation Tool. It's designed to quickly and easily assist potential applicants in determining which environmental permits, authorizations or notifications would be needed for specific projects. Based on the user's responses to a series of simple questions, PACT provides information on permits and other information an applicant should consider. This information will serve as the foundation for a pre-application conference where both the applicant and the department can discuss the applicable requirements, and plan for a thorough and efficient review process.
To use the tool or learn more, click here.
Permit Review Process and Permit Decision Guarantee
Executive Order 2012-11 was signed into law on July 24, 2012, charging DEP with developing and implementing a policy that results in more timely permitting decisions, provides clear expectations for applicants to improve the quality of permit applications, establishes performance measures for DEP's permit review staff, and implements electronic permitting tools to enhance internal operations.
In response, DEP issued the "Permit Review Process and Permit Decision Guarantee Policy" and the "Permit Coordination Policy." To learn more, click here.
Information on DEP permit/authorization packages can be found through DEP's Online Library (eLibrary) in the following manner: those that are department-wide; those that are program specific; and those certifications that are program specific.
The Department-Wide Permit/Authorization Packages section of eLibrary contains forms and information (e.g., General Information Form, contacts, maps, policies, etc.) that are used by multiple programs throughout DEP. Also found within this section is information on the DEP's Land Use Policy as well as Act 46.
The department's land use policy, which was revised on August 19, 2009, lists the applications affected by the policy, outlines the requirements for applicants and lays out DEP's review process for these applications. To learn more, click here.
Act 46 was a component of the budget legislation signed by Governor Rendell on July 6, 2010, was effective upon his signing and is in effect until July 1, 2013. DEP understands Act 46 as being aimed at providing some relief to the building industry impacted by the economic downturn and toward that end is focused on land development for residential and commercial purposes. It implicates several DEP programs, as well as some local approvals overseen by DEP. Not all approvals issued by DEP are extended or otherwise affected by Act 46. Act 46 provides a process for holders of approvals that have been issued from government agencies such as DEP, to obtain a verification that an approval has been extended under this new law. Holders of approvals should NOT assume that an expiration date has been extended under Act 46 unless it is listed in the DEP Guidance for Implementation of Act 46, AND the holder has received verification under the process described in the Guidance. To find guidance related to Act 46 or the Verification Request form, click here.
The Program-Specific Permit/Authorization Packages section of eLibrary contains forms and information that are specific to a DEP program (e.g., Air Quality, Mining, Water Management, etc.). This includes information related to individual permits, general permits, licensing, and the application forms and instructions needed to apply for that permit/authorization.
At this time, information on those certifications that are program specific can be found on the programs webpage. For example, information regarding Certification of Water and Wastewater Operators can be found by clicking here.
Submission and Tracking of Permits
To find more information on permits received or to track the progress of a specific permit that information can be found through Pennsylvania's Environment Facility Application Compliance Tracking System (eFACTS). To learn more, click here.
Additionally, DEP's Electronic Notification System (eNOTICE) allows users to receive specific updates on selected items. Items that can be selected include: permit applications, draft technical documents, regulations and Land Recycling Act 2 Notices. To learn more, click here.