House Passes Key Regulatory and Permitting Reforms

From PA Chamber of Business & Industry

A package of bills that would offer commonsense, long overdue reforms to Pennsylvania’s regulatory and permitting processes cleared the state House last week. 

The bills are part of a broad effort to reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens and clarify what are often described by the state’s regulated community as confusing, unpredictable and lengthy permit approval processes. 

“Fundamental and thoughtful change to the state’s regulatory development and permitting process is necessary to ensure that Pennsylvania’s government is operating with respect to the constitutional separation of powers, and that further clarity and predictability is provided to the regulated community as they work to complete projects in communities across the Commonwealth and grow our economy,” PA Chamber President Gene Barr said a statement applauding House lawmakers for passing the legislation.

A brief description of each bill is as follows. All three now await consideration in the Senate.

House Bill 209 — establishes an Independent Office of the Repealer to conduct periodic reviews of the state’s regulations and recommend efficiencies and repeals.

House Bill 1792 — amends the Regulatory Review Act to ensure that the legislative branch, through its respective standing committees, has proper oversight of the various executive agencies developing and finalizing regulatory rulemakings.  This includes appropriately considering public comment, adequately demonstrating statutory authority, accurately balancing costs and benefits and faithfully exercising the delegation of powers by the legislative branch by conforming to legislative intent and statutory language.

House Bill 1959 — provides transparency throughout the permitting process and affords state agencies the ability to contract with third parties to assist in clearing permit backlogs.