DEQ public participation policy
To whom it may concern:
These are the changes needed to the DEQ's public participation policy. As residents of the Commonwealth we have the right to have our voices heard.
- give notice to directly impacted communities when the project is first proposed, before formal application and not when the permit is finished
- give notice that actually reaches the community
- institute forums where questions can be asked and answered by those wielding permit power
- hold public hearings on permits in the directly impacted communities earlier in the process and with both in person and hybrid opportunities
- hold public hearings when accessible to full time workers
- give more advance notice of when public hearings will be held
- allow citizens access to Citizen Boards that does not go through and is not edited by the DEQ
- allow citizens to register to speak at public hearings in advance and in person the day of
- hold public hearings in public or citizen sponsored venues and not in private hotels
- do not march armed police around the edges of hearing rooms while citizens are speaking!
Thank you for changing policy so that our participatory democracy is more robust. This is vital regarding projects that impact people's very lives and critical if we are to eliminate environmental racism.