Act of Nov. 21, 1990, P.L. 539, No. 133              Cl. 27
                                  AN ACT

     Prohibiting certain conduct with respect to caves; and imposing

        The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
     hereby enacts as follows:

     Section 1.  Short title.
        This act shall be known and may be cited as the Cave
     Protection Act.
     Section 2.  Legislative findings and policy.
        The General Assembly finds that caves are uncommon geologic
     phenomena and that the minerals deposited therein may be rare
     and occur in unique forms of great beauty which are
     irreplaceable if destroyed. Also irreplaceable are the
     archeological resources in caves which are of great scientific
     and historic value. It is further found that the organisms which
     live in caves are unusual and of limited numbers, that many are
     rare and endangered species and that caves are a natural conduit
     for groundwater flow and are highly subject to water pollution,
     thus having far-reaching effects transcending man's property
     boundaries. It is therefore declared to be the policy of the
     General Assembly and the intent of this act to protect these
     unique natural and cultural resources.
     Section 3.  Definitions.
        The following words and phrases when used in this act shall
     have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
     context clearly indicates otherwise:
        "Cave."  Any naturally occurring void, cavity, recess or
     system of interconnecting passages beneath the surface of the
     earth or within a cliff or ledge, including, but not limited to,
     natural subsurface water and drainage systems, whether or not it
     has a natural entrance. The term does not include any mine,
     tunnel, aqueduct or other manmade excavation. The term includes,
     or is synonymous with, cavern, sinkhole, natural pit, grotto and
     rock shelter.
        "Cave life."  Any life form which normally occurs in, uses,
     visits or inhabits any cave or subterranean water system,
     excepting those animals and species covered by any of the game
     laws of this Commonwealth.
        "Commercial cave."  Any cave utilized by the owner for the
     purposes of exhibition to the general public wherein a fee is
     collected for entry.
        "Gate."  Any structure or device located to limit or prohibit
     access or entry to any cave.
        "Material."  All or any part of any archeological,
     paleontological, biological or historical item or artifact,
     including, but not limited to, any petroglyph, pictograph,
     basketry, human remains, tools, beads, pottery, projectile point
     or remains of historical mining activity or any other
     occupation, found in a cave.
        "Owner."  A person who owns title to land where a cave is
     located, including a person who owns title to a leasehold estate
     in such land, and specifically including the Commonwealth and
     any of its agencies, departments, boards, bureaus, commissions
     or authorities, as well as counties, municipalities and other
     political subdivisions of the Commonwealth.
        "Person."  An individual, partnership, firm, association,
     trust, corporation or other legal entity.
        "Police officer."  An individual authorized by law to make
     arrests for violations of the criminal laws of this
        "Sinkhole."  A closed topographic depression or basin,
     generally draining underground, including, but not restricted
     to, a doline, uvala, blind valley or sink.
        "Speleogen."  The surrounding natural material or bedrock in
     which a cave is formed, including clastic sediments, walls,
     floors and ceiling and similar related structural and geological
        "Speleothem."  A natural mineral formation or deposit
     occurring in a cave. The term includes, or is synonymous with,
     stalagmite, stalactite, helectite, shield, anthodite, gypsum
     flower and needle, angel's hair, soda straw, drapery, bacon,
     cave pearl, popcorn (coral), rimstone dam, column, palette,
     flowstone and other similar mineral formations which occur in
     caves. Speleothems are commonly composed of calcite, epsomite,
     gypsum, aragonite, celestrite and other similar minerals.
     Section 4.  Enforcement.
        Police officers employed in this Commonwealth shall enforce
     the provisions of this act.
     Section 5.  Violations.
        It shall be unlawful for any person, without the expressed
     written permission of the land owner, to:
            (1)  Willfully or knowingly break, break off, crack,
        carve upon, write, burn, mark upon, remove or in any manner
        destroy, disturb, mar or harm the surfaces of any cave or any
        natural material which may be found therein, whether attached
        or broken, including speleothems, speleogens and sedimentary
            (2)  Break, force, tamper with or otherwise disturb a
        lock, gate, door or other obstruction designed to control or
        prevent access to any cave, even though entrance thereto may
        not be gained.
            (3)  Remove, deface or tamper with a sign stating that a
        cave is posted or citing provisions of this act.
            (4)  Store, dump, litter, dispose of or otherwise place
        any refuse, garbage, dead animal, sewage or toxic substance
        harmful to cave life or humans in any cave or sinkhole.
            (5)  Burn within any cave or sinkhole any material which
        produces any smoke or gas which is harmful to any organism in
        the cave. This paragraph shall specifically exempt acetylene
        gas emissions created by carbide lamps used as a source of
        light by persons using the cave.
            (6)  Kill, injure, disturb or otherwise interfere with
        any cave life, including any cave-roosting bat, or interfere
        with or obstruct the free movement of any cave life into or
        out of any cave, or enter any cave with the intention of
        killing, injuring, disturbing or interfering with life forms
        therein, except where public health may be threatened.
            (7)  Remove, deface, tamper with or otherwise disturb any
        natural or cultural resources or material found within any
            (8)  Disturb or alter in any way the natural condition of
        any cave.
     Section 6.  Penalties.
        (a)  Summary offense.--A person who violates any provision of
     this act commits a summary offense punishable by a fine of not
     less than $100 nor more than $1,000 and, in default of the
     payment of such fine, to undergo imprisonment for not more than
     30 days.
        (b)  Public nuisance.--Unlawful conduct as described by
     section 5 shall also constitute a public nuisance.
     Section 7.  Other remedies.
        (a)  Jurisdiction.--In addition to any other remedies
     provided in this act, upon relation of any district attorney of
     any county affected or upon relation of the solicitor of any
     county or municipality affected, an action in equity may be
     brought in a court of competent jurisdiction for an injunction
     to restrain any and all violations of this act or to restrain a
     public nuisance.
        (b)  Concurrent remedies.--The penalties prescribed by this
     act shall be deemed concurrent, and the existence of or exercise
     of any remedy shall not prevent the Department of Environmental
     Resources from exercising any other remedy hereunder, at law or
     in equity.

        Compiler's Note:  The Department of Environmental Resources,
            referred to in subsec. (b), was abolished by Act 18 of
            1995. Its functions were transferred to the Department of
            Conservation and Natural Resources and the Department of
            Environmental Protection.
     Section 8.  Effective date.
        This act shall take effect in 60 days.