DEP Moving on e-Permitting
Article by Josie Gaskey, PACA's Director of Environmental, Safety and Health
As PACA has indicated in recent E-ALERTs, PA DEP Mining is embarking on a new electronic mine permit application approach. While the focus currently is on large bituminous surface mines due to complexity and variety, the Mining e-permitting approach is a pilot project, which will eventually be used throughout DEP bureaus. DEP anticipates the next permit application to be tackled will be the pre-applications.
DEP recently held a webinar demonstrating the new e-permitting approach and while it was structured for coal, we can glean much about what the approach looks like. First, as part of this process, they have redesigned the application package itself by topics (hydrology, geology, blasting, etc.) rather than by modules. While these particular modules are coal, this will be similar for noncoal. Because the modules are scattered within DEP’s eLibrary, if you would like a .zip copy of these modules, contact Josie Gaskey.
Additionally, it will be difficult to omit required parts of the permit application, as the system will prompt you for missing information and you will be unable to submit an incomplete application electronically. Permit fees will be able to be paid online by credit card or electronic check. The ability to copy some of the permit information from one permit to another will make subsequent application development faster. There is an entire process for persons authorized to work on behalf of the permittee. This webinar can be viewed on DEP’s new eCommerce page, which is part of the Mining section of the DEP website. The archived February webinar is to be posted on the eCommerce page by February 17. We encourage you to check out this webinar at your convenience, as it will give you a good idea of what the noncoal version will look like.
Note that this process will have a separate public face to it, allowing for review of information and submission of comments. The public face will not include any confidential information nor will it include technical deficiency letters and correspondence. The public will, however, see any updates to your application as issues are resolved through the technical deficiency process. This entire approach will make it much easier for the public to know what is going on at your facilities.
Should you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to contact Josie Gaskey.