|Posted:||February 11, 2021 08:47 AM|
|From:||Representative Emily Kinkead|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Establishing the Landslide Insurance and Assistance Program|
|Landslides represent a significant financial burden to our Commonwealth, costing the state millions in damages every year. While landslides as a result of mining practices and mudslides are covered under existing insurance programs, landslides as a result of other causes are typically not covered. This lack of protection leaves many Pennsylvanians vulnerably exposed to the financial fallout from the devastation caused by landslides.
As human impact on the land increases, we both cause more landslides and are increasingly affected by natural ones. Across Pennsylvania, landslides are becoming an increasingly significant hazard.
Southwestern Pennsylvania has, by far, the highest concentration of landslides. However, outside that region, landslides can occur anywhere with loose soil and old landslide debris on steep slopes. Additionally, mountainsides across the Commonwealth have experienced debris avalanches associated with extreme rainfall or rain-on-snow events. Given the right materials, landslides can occur on even the gentlest of slopes.
Bedrock landslides have been known to happen where weak rock layers or fractures provide slip surfaces. Most major and minor highways in the state have sections cut into rock or soil that can fail. Moreover, glacial and glacial-lake sediments underlie stream-bank and lake-bluff slumps and other “failure areas” across much of northern Pennsylvania.
In short, landslides are a risk to nearly all Pennsylvanians and yet they do not have the ability to financially prepare for such an event.
This is why I am introducing legislation to establish the Landslide Insurance and Assistance Program within the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency. This bill would appropriate necessary funds and provide for administrative duties that will ensure Pennsylvanians are properly protected from the destructive force of landslides.
This small measure will have far reaching impact in safeguarding our residents against nature’s often unpredictable forces. Please join me in prioritizing the wellbeing of Pennsylvanians.
(This legislation was previously introduced as HB 468.)
Introduced as HB1054