Download Full Version: MassDEP Regulatory Reform Initiative
In April 2011, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) launched a broad Regulatory Reform Initiative. The main goal of this far-reaching effort is to streamline permitting and other processes to boost efficiency so that MassDEP can maintain high standards of environmental protection despite a loss of almost thirty percent of its staff during the last decade. A second goal is to lighten the regulatory burden on business-but without lowering environmental protection standards. MassDEP's Regulatory Reform Initiative also fulfills the requirement in the 2010 Act Relative to Economic Development Reorganization for all Massachusetts state agencies to review existing regulations for efficiency improvements.
The agency's Final Action Plan for Regulatory Reform at MassDEP was published in March 2012. During the first half of 2012, MassDEP actively engaged with separate stakeholder groups for each of the targeted reforms in order to address more detailed stakeholder input, to consider any additional reforms that should be added beyond what was in the Final Action Plan, and to develop the pathway to implementation.
This document is a progress update on the reforms that were identified via the 2011 agency-wide assessment, and also an update on additional reforms that have been identified after the 2011 assessment and the resulting 2012 Action Plan. This full suite of resulting reforms will include increased utilization of simplified or consolidated regulatory processes, new general permits, improved agency oversight procedures, and elimination of duplicative or low-benefit regulatory approvals. Together, they will save hundreds of hours of administrative time per year for the agency and lighten the regulatory burden, while continuing to provide top-notch protection of the environment and public health.