DEP Works Thru Pandemic: 645 More Permits, 1,494 More Inspections Since Last Week; DEP To Open Electronic Permit Application Dropbox
From March 16 to June 16, Department of Environmental Protection employees have been teleworking and using COVID-19 mitigation measures to continue to fulfill its mission. DEP staff have--
-- Conducted 18,063 inspections - 1,494 more than last week;
-- Processed 7,948 permit applications and authorizations - 645 more than last week;
-- Processed 94 percent of Permit Decision Guarantee applications and authorizations; and
-- Responded to 88 environmental emergencies, ten more than last week.
DEP has also developed a process for companies to request suspension of regulatory or permit condition requirements to provide life-sustaining activities.
To date, DEP has granted requests to suspend a regulatory or permit condition to 37 entities so they may continue operating during the pandemic, no increase from last week..
DEP is prioritizing field inspections that are critical to public health and safety. DEP staff are working remotely, and responding to complaints related to issues critical to public health and safety.
DEP will continue to respond in the field to environmental emergencies that present an immediate threat to public health and safety.
To report environmental emergencies, please call 1-800-541-2050.
Visit DEP’s Alert webpage for more information and updates.
Electronic Permit Dropbox
Ramez Ziadeh, P.E., DEP Executive Deputy Secretary for Programs, told DEP’s Citizens Advisory Council on June 16 DEP would be opening a new online electronic permit submission dropbox called OnBase.
The OnBase system is not an e-Permit System like DEP is now using for some permits, but will allow applicants to upload electronic copies of permit applications and approval requests.
The new system will allow DEP staff to electronically share applications rather than depend on the Postal Service to physically move applications between staff and offices.
Ziadeh said the new system should be announced in the next week or so.
He added that 93 percent of DEP employees continue to telework even though many counties are now moving to the Green Phase of Reopening.
The Department of Environmental Protection is inviting the public, businesses and local governments to rate their experience with the agency during the pandemic shutdown.
An online feedback form posted on its website allows users to rank their experience in five steps from very positive to very negative.
It also allows users to fill in written comments and identify what county they are from.
[Posted: June 17, 2020]
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