DEP Launches Electronic Permit for New Projects Affecting Wetlands and Waterways, Continuing Campaign to Modernize Permitting

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today launched an electronic permit system to provide landowners a more efficient way to request permit registrations for new projects that affect wetlands and waterways and get a faster response from DEP.

“As part of Governor Wolf’s commitment to improve the permitting process, DEP is committed to improving customer service by employing the best technologies we can, while also understanding the needs of the permit applicants,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “We’ve launched this new system at the request of those who want the convenience and speed of a web-based permit process.”

A variety of projects are covered by Chapter 105 Wetland and Waterway Obstruction and Encroachment General Permits, including stream crossings, small docks and boat ramps, streambank rehabilitation or protection, gravel bar removal, intake and outfall structures, agricultural crossings and ramps, minor road crossings, agricultural activities, and fish habitat enhancement structures.

DEP processes at least 2,500 Chapter 105 registration requests for business, municipal, and individual landowners each year. The Chapter 105 e-permit, which is accessed through DEP GreenPort (registration is required for first-time users), will save time for applicants and department reviewers, include online permit payment, reduce the expense of printing complex design drawings, and make information available in real-time to the public, for increased transparency. DEP will also continue to accept paper registrations to accommodate applicants whose only option is a paper form.

The Chapter 105 e-permit is the latest electronic tool in DEP’s continuing efforts to use technology solutions to improve customer service, reduce paper-driven processes, and further protect the environment. Stakeholders can now use online tools to file permit applications for surface coal mining, storage tank renewals, and radiation protection renewal, and other regulated activities. In addition, DEP has developed online processes to digitize grants systems, modernize facility inspection processes, and archive content for access by both staff and the public.

As DEP continues to seek ways to modernize and increase efficiency, the agency encourages applicants to use the Chapter 105 e-permit and provide feedback on it.

“We value the community’s insights on using the e-permit. They’ll be very helpful as we work to perfect a tool that enables improved service, efficiency, response time, and transparency,” said McDonnell.

Applicants are encouraged to send comments and suggestions on the e-permit to a dedicated email account: ra-epbweweperdwet105@pa.gov. All messages will be reviewed and considered for future improvements. Applicants will also be invited to participate in a web-based conference call to learn more about the functionality of the new tool and provide recommendations for potential enhancements.

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