From The Pueblo Chieftain (Patrick Malone):
Sen. Kevin Grantham…sponsored [Senate Bill 12-132: Issue Air & Water Quality Permits Within 12 Months]. It aims to set a one-year deadline for the issuance or denial of permit applications. Grantham said during a tour of the state over the summer, many businesses complained to him that the slow permitting process has interfered with expansion, hindering job creation. “A company in this situation obviously faces many difficult personnel decisions over this period as they await the final determination, which in many cases takes a little over a year,” Grantham said…
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, which is responsible for air and water permitting, opposes the bill. Will Allison, director of the health department’s air-quality division, said the department is understaffed and overburdened by permit applications. That has hampered the department’s ability to meet the 18-month deadline on some permit decisions, much less the 12-month timeline that Grantham seeks to impose. “Frankly, we are currently experiencing delays meeting the existing statutory deadlines,” he said. The current backlog of pending air permits at the department is about 140, according to Allison.
The Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee passed the bill 4-3, with Republicans voting in favor of it and most Democrats, including Sen. Angela Giron, D-Pueblo, opposing it.
More 2012 Colorado legislation coverage here.