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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: December 20, 2016 12:31 PM
From: Representative Karen Boback
To: All House members
Subject: Provides for Erosion & Sedimentation Agreements Between DEP and County Conservation Districts

In the near future, I plan to re-introduce legislation that will direct the Department of Environmental Protection to develop a “cooperative process” for the review of erosion and sedimentation permit applications that includes the involvement of our County Conservation Districts.

Our county conservation districts were created with the passage of Act 217 of 1945, also known as the "Conservation District Law. This act designated our conservation districts as a primary local government unit responsible for the conservation of natural resources in this Commonwealth and to be responsible for implementing programs, projects and activities to quantify, prevent and control non-point sources of pollution. Since 1945, our conservation districts have worked in conjunction with landowners, Federal and State Government agencies, counties and local government units to provide for the conservation of soil, water and related resources, control and prevent soil erosion, to assist in the flood control, storm water management, air and water quality, preserve wildlife, and protect and promote the health, safety and general welfare of the people of Pennsylvania.

However, recent growth in the development of the Marcellus Shale natural gas resources has introduced new challenges for soil and water quality and whereas our county conservation districts have traditionally provided delegated oversight to matters of erosion and sedimentation, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection assumed these responsibilities through internal Department Policy in 2009; effectively eliminating the role of the county conservation districts in this process. Therefore, my proposed legislation will restore the participation of the county conservation districts in erosion and sedimentation permitting.

This legislation is identical to House Bill 495 that I sponsored in 2013-2014.

I hope you will join me in co-sponsoring this legislation. Thank you for your interest and support.

Introduced as HB2004