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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20170&cosponId=25035
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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: January 17, 2018 12:23 PM
From: Representative Garth D. Everett
To: All House members
Subject: “Keystone Tree Fund” Legislation
 
The water that every Pennsylvanian relies on for daily living and recreational activities is in need of our attention. Despite its abundance, or maybe because we have taken that abundance for granted, almost one-quarter of Pennsylvania’s 86,000 miles of rivers and streams are classified as “impaired” under the Federal Clean Water Act, meaning they are not safe for drinking, fishing, swimming or a combination of uses. Pennsylvania’s list of impaired waters is twice as long as the state in second place – Michigan.

To repair the waters and meet our constitutional obligation as trustee of the Pennsylvania’s natural resources we will need a comprehensive statewide strategy that involves farms, towns and the general public, but one important step is to plant more trees. Along streams, trees help to filter out pollutants running off the land. In urban areas, trees help to soak up storm water, reducing flooding and erosion.

I plan to introduce legislation that would amend Titles 27 (Environmental Resources) and 75 (Vehicles) by creating the Pennsylvania Keystone Tree Fund. The legislation would add “Keystone Tree Fund” as a voluntary checkoff box to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s driver’s license application (original and renewal) and the vehicle registration renewal application. This checkoff box would allow applicants to voluntarily donate $3 to the fund. The funding would be allocated to programs within the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources:
  • Tree Vitalize Program (40%)
  • Riparian Forest Buffer Grant Program (60%)
  • The Keystone Tree Fund is intended to supplement these programs’ existing capacity.

Thank you for your consideration. Please contact Chanin Zwing with any questions at 787-5270 or via e-mail at czwing@pahousegop.com.



Introduced as HB2486