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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: December 7, 2018 08:30 AM
From: Senator Gene Yaw and Sen. John T. Yudichak
To: All Senate members
Subject: Keystone Tree Fund Legislation
Senator Yudichak and I plan to re-introduce legislation (SB 1208 of the 2017-18 Session) 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 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 we can take is to plant more trees, helping to filter out pollutants running off the land, and further soaking up storm water, reducing runoff and erosion.

We hope you will join us in co-sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as SB108