On Wednesday, the Massachusetts House voted to pass an economic development bill, An Act Relative to Infrastructure Investment, Enhanced Competitiveness and Economic Growth in the Commonwealth.  This bill contains provisions regarding the extension of the Brownfields Tax Credit and the creation of the Local Infrastructure Development Program.  The bill also would extend the 2010 Permit Extension Act (“PEA²”). 

The original Permit Extension Act extends for two years most local and state permits and approvals (“extension period”) that were issued or in existence between August 15, 2008 and August 15, 2010 (“tolling period”).  The two-year tolling period runs from the current expiration date of the permit or approval.  PEA² would extend the tolling period two more years, to expire on August 15, 2012.  Not only that, PEA² would double the extension period from two years to four years. 

If the PEA² provisions of the bill pass as written, a permit or approval issued or in existence between August 15, 2008 and August 15, 2012 would be valid for an additional four years beyond its expiration date.  For example, a wetlands permit issued on August 14, 2012 that is set to expire on August 14, 2015 would be valid until August 14, 2019.  

The bill now goes to the Senate for a vote.  If it passes there, a joint conference committee will work to create a final bill that will need to pass before the close of the legislative session on July 31st to become effective before the current Permit Extension Act expires.  Stay tuned.