Environmental Protection

Governor's Executive Budget Program Measures

Percentage of population in counties monitoring below the 2015 Ambient Ozone Standard
The National Ambient Air Quality Standard for Ozone is 70 parts per billion.  Pennsylvania monitors compliance with this standard using ambient air quality samplers throughout the Commonwealth.  The “Percentage of Population in Counties Achieving the 2015 Ambient Ozone Standard” is calculated using the most recent projected Census information for each county in Pennsylvania meeting the standard.
Percentage of community water system inspections conducted on time
The US EPA tracks this metric as a federal grant requirement. Sanitary surveys must inspect all elements of a water system. Other inspection types are not included. The percentage declined in prior years due to staff shortages, and increased after the 2018 fee rulemaking and hiring of new staff, but at 79% (FY19-20) still remains below target due to the time required to train new staff and pandemic/stay-at-home orders (staff were unable to conduct any san surveys from mid-March through June).
Total violations recorded & resolved
Violations include non-compliance with applicable regulatory and statutory requirements, permit conditions, or enforcement documents. Violations are recorded on an inspection report or similar means and communicated to the responsible party. Not all violations are followed with a formal enforcement action. The violations attributed to each fiscal year were cited during that fiscal year.
Once a violation has been cited, it is DEP’s intention to ensure the non-compliance does not continue or occur again. Violations are resolved by DEP staff working with the responsible parties to take corrective actions, or through enforcement when warranted. The resolved violations attributed to each fiscal year were resolved during that year, but may have been cited during the same fiscal year or prior fiscal years.
Total inspections conducted
Total of inspections conducted by DEP staff and representatives. An inspection is generally considered an evaluation to ensure compliance with applicable regulatory and statutory requirements, permit conditions, and enforcement documents. Some inspections are done in person, while others may be done administratively as a file or document review.
Cumulative acres of Abandoned Mine Land (AML) reclaimed since the inception of the AML program in 1977
DEP’s Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation administers the federal Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) program to address the highest priority problems resulting from coal mining that occurred prior to the passage of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA). AMLs are plagued by health and safety hazards, environmental degradation, as well as diminished economic opportunities. More information about PA’s AML Program can be found at BAMR’s website: www.dep.pa.gov/AML.
Tons of municipal solid waste recycled
DEP provides grants to local governments to assist with various aspects of their recycling services. This data is collected from Act 101 Annual Reports, which must be filed by any local government that recycles. The recycling market is subject to a wide range of fluctuations in local, national, and global commodity prices, as well as behavioral changes from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Total authorizations received & disposed
The first measures is the total number of applications received by DEP during the fiscal year. This measure includes all authorizations, including permits, licenses, registrations, and certifications.
The second measure is the total number of applications disposed by DEP during the fiscal year. This measure includes all authorizations, including permits, licenses, registrations, and certifications. “Disposed” includes all those issued, denied, withdrawn, cancelled, or returned.
Percentage of permits processed on time (active in Permit Decision Guarantee)
DEP’s Permit Decision Guarantee Policy of 2012 sets time limits on DEP’s review of a specific list of application types. Applications submitted without deficiencies are considered “active.” If deficiencies are noted, then the time limits do not apply to DEP’s review. The denominator of the percentage is all applications with time limits established in the Policy that are considered “active.” The numerator of the percentage represents those that were disposed within their time limits. The percentage is slightly lower in FY 2021-22, in part because DEP focused efforts on reviewing older applications in the backlog.
Average days to respond to Priority 1 complaints (target: same day)
DEP routinely receives complaints from citizens regarding environmental incidents or emergencies. These are classified into four priority levels in order of severity, with Priority 1 being the most critical. DEP has established internal time limits for response to each priority level. Priority 1 complaints must be responded to on the same day they are received. These include spills, fires, sudden ground subsidence, and the mishandling of hazardous materials, among others.