" ... there is a widely held view that DEP's mismanagement and ineffectual leadership both compromises the Department's ability to protect the environment and hinders economic growth. This stems from a variety of factors including the failure to adhere to the Rule of Law, the misuse of science, the lack of real economic impact analysis, and the lack of transparency in the rulemaking process."
The 21-page document goes on to make specific recommendations under the general categories of : Leadership and Management; Regulatory Reform; Land Use Management; Site Remediation and Natural Resource Stewardship.
Some of the recommendations include:
* Eliminate the Office of Policy Planning and Science
* Establish an advisory panel of external experts
* Reinstate the Alternative Dispute Resolution program
* Review all existing guidance documents
* Create a business/project ombudsman in Governor's Office
* Allow for expanded use of Permits-By-Rule
* Establish electronic permitting
* Create a single Land Use Permit
* Eliminate duplicative reviews
* Suspend use of Landscape Project for species habits
* Revise Public Access rules
* Rescind Administrative Orders for 300-foot stream buffers
The Sierra Club responded with swift condemnation, calling the report "an outright attack on environmental protections and regulations " and declaring that the document was written, "for the most part" (another environmental organization participated on the subcommittee) "by special interests for special interests."
Have you read the report? What do you think?
The recommendations are just that, recommendations, but they'll no doubt play a big role in the questions that Bob Martin, the governor's pick to lead the DEP, will encounter when his nomination is considered in the state Legislature.
Use the comment box below to share your views. If you don't see one, click on the tiny 'comment' link.
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