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                                                       PRINTER'S NO. 942



No. 800 Session of 1999

           KUKOVICH AND BOSCOLA, APRIL 27, 1999


                                     AN ACT

     1  Providing for watershed protection and environmental
     2     stewardship; establishing the Environmental Stewardship Fund;
     3     conferring powers and duties on the Department of
     4     Conservation and Natural Resources, the Department of
     5     Environmental Protection and the Pennsylvania Infrastructure
     6     Investment Authority; imposing a recycling fee; making an
     7     appropriation; and making repeals.

     8     The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
     9  hereby enacts as follows:
    10  Section 1.  Short title.
    11     This act shall be known and may be cited as the Watershed
    12  Protection and Environmental Stewardship Act.
    13  Section 2.  Legislative findings.
    14     The General Assembly hereby determines, declares and finds as
    15  follows:
    16         (1)  Ninety-six percent of the water-quality-impaired
    17     watersheds in this Commonwealth are polluted because of
    18     nonpoint sources of pollution such as past mining activities,
    19     urban and agricultural runoff, atmospheric deposition, on-lot
    20     sewage systems and earthmoving and timber harvesting

     1     activities.
     2         (2)  The Commonwealth continues to have unmet needs in
     3     the area of water and sewer infrastructure. New and improved
     4     water sources, treatment and distribution systems are
     5     necessary for public drinking water supplies.
     6         (3)  The Commonwealth owns approximately 2.4 million
     7     acres of State park and State forest lands and many of these
     8     lands suffer from past environmental problems including
     9     unreclaimed mines, acid mine drainage and abandoned oil and
    10     gas wells.
    11         (4)  Open space, greenways, trails, river corridors, fish
    12     and wildlife habitats, parks and recreation areas and scenic
    13     environments protect the environment, conserve natural
    14     resources and add value to communities.
    15         (5)  State programs and State funding should provide
    16     maximum flexibility for elected county and municipal
    17     government officials to identify, prioritize and address
    18     local environmental concerns.
    19         (6)  Land use solutions must be voluntary and driven by
    20     local initiative.
    21         (7)  Respecting the Commonwealth's tradition of local
    22     government, the 21st Century Environment Commission organized
    23     by the Governor urges strengthening the ability and authority
    24     of community officials to plan their growth.
    25         (8)  Legislation is necessary to provide incentives to
    26     local governments to implement sound land use practices to
    27     further encourage the preservation of open space, clean and
    28     protect watersheds, improve recreational opportunities,
    29     protect natural areas and habitats and address existing
    30     environmental problems.
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     1  Section 3.  Definitions.
     2     The following words and phrases when used in this act shall
     3  have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
     4  context clearly indicates otherwise:
     5     "Acquisition."  The purchase, or lease with an option to
     6  purchase, of land, easements or buildings for public parks,
     7  conservation, historical or recreation uses.
     8     "Authority."  The Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment
     9  Authority.
    10     "Authorized organization."  An entity involved in research,
    11  restoration, rehabilitation, planning, acquisition, development,
    12  education or other activities, which furthers the protection,
    13  enhancement, conservation, preservation or enjoyment of this
    14  Commonwealth's environmental, conservation, recreation or
    15  similar resources. The organization must be a tax-exempt
    16  institution under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code
    17  of 1986 (Public Law 99-154, 26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(3)) and
    18  registered with the Bureau of Charitable Organizations or an
    19  educational institution involved in these authorized activities.
    20     "Departments."  The Department of Conservation and Natural
    21  Resources and the Department of Environmental Protection of the
    22  Commonwealth.
    23     "Development."  New construction, improvement, alteration or
    24  renovation required for and compatible with the physical
    25  development or improvement of land or buildings.
    26     "Environmental department."  The Department of Environmental
    27  Protection of the Commonwealth.
    28     "Fund."  The Environmental Stewardship Fund established in
    29  section 4.
    30     "Planning."  The preparation of park, recreation and open
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     1  space plans, river corridor and watershed plans, master site
     2  development plans, feasibility studies, natural areas studies
     3  and inventories, greenways and trail plans, maintenance
     4  management plans, conservation plans, zoning plans, land use
     5  plans, environmental management plans and research or education
     6  documents, useful in assisting municipalities, Commonwealth
     7  agencies, conservation districts, watershed organizations and
     8  authorized organizations in developing a strategy for
     9  environmental improvement, natural resource management, park and
    10  recreation development and land conservation.
    11     "Rehabilitation and repair."  Restoration or renovation of
    12  facilities or conditions of existing public conservation and
    13  recreation resources. The term excludes routine maintenance.
    14     "Sound land use practices."  Practices that are generally
    15  consistent with the inventory of land use practices published by
    16  the Governor's Center for Local Government Services in the
    17  Department of Community and Economic Development. The inventory
    18  of practices should promote regional cooperation, seek to
    19  minimize the impact on the environment, open space and farmland
    20  and encourage development in previously developed areas or in
    21  locally designated growth areas.
    22     "Technical assistance."  Provision of financial grants and
    23  professional services. The term includes, publications,
    24  research, video tapes, workshops, meetings, phone consultation
    25  and written and electronic communication.
    26     "Watershed organization."  An entity recognized by either or
    27  both of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and
    28  the Department of Environmental Protection and established by
    29  volunteer community members to promote local watershed
    30  conservation efforts in an identified watershed.
    19990S0800B0942                  - 4 -

     1  Section 4.  Fund.
     2     (a)  Establishment.--There is established a special fund in
     3  the State Treasury, to be known as the Environmental Stewardship
     4  Fund, which shall be administered by the Department of
     5  Environmental Protection.
     6     (b)  Sources.--
     7         (1)  Money appropriated by the General Assembly, interest
     8     earned by the fund, penalties, and money received from the
     9     Federal Government or other sources shall be deposited in the
    10     fund. The General Assembly may appropriate up to $55,000,000
    11     annually from the General Fund.
    12         (2)  For a period of five years from the effective date
    13     of this act, the fund may receive money, upon approval of the
    14     Governor, from the Recycling Fund and the Hazardous Sites
    15     Cleanup Fund. The combined total of appropriations from these
    16     two funds for the program shall not exceed $30,000,000
    17     annually.
    18     (c)  Appropriation.--The money in the fund is hereby
    19  appropriated, upon approval of the Governor, to the departments
    20  and the authority for the purpose of implementing the provisions
    21  of this act.
    22     (d)  Allocation.--It is the intent of the General Assembly
    23  that the money appropriated in subsection (c) be allocated
    24  annually as follows: 34% to the Department of Conservation and
    25  Natural Resources; 41% to the Department of Environmental
    26  Protection and 25% to the authority.
    27  Section 5.  Agencies.
    28     (a)  The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.--
    29  The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources shall
    30  utilize money it receives from the fund for the following
    19990S0800B0942                  - 5 -

     1  purposes:
     2         (1)  Rehabilitation, repair and development of State park
     3     and State forest lands and facilities and the acquisition of
     4     interior holdings and other land which the Department of
     5     Conservation and Natural Resources determines will protect or
     6     enhance State parks and State forests.
     7         (2)  Grants to municipalities, conservation districts and
     8     authorized organizations for the purpose of planning,
     9     education, acquisition, development, rehabilitation and
    10     repair of greenways, trails, open space, natural areas, river
    11     corridors, watersheds, community parks and recreation
    12     facilities; community conservation and beautification
    13     projects; forest conservation; and other conservation
    14     purposes. Grant moneys may also be used for the acquisition
    15     of farmland for the above-stated purposes. Priority in the
    16     consideration of grant awards and other incentives shall be
    17     given to projects which support sound land use practices.
    18         (3)  Grants to municipalities and authorized
    19     organizations for purposes of research, planning, inventories
    20     and technical assistance, intended to protect and conserve
    21     the biological diversity of this Commonwealth.
    22     (b)  The Department of Environmental Protection.--
    23         (1)  The Department of Environmental Protection shall
    24     utilize money it receives from the fund for the following
    25     purposes:
    26             (i)  To implement acid mine drainage abatement and
    27         cleanup efforts and plug abandoned and orphan oil and gas
    28         wells.
    29             (ii)  To provide funding for technical assistance and
    30         financial incentives to facilitate remining.
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     1             (iii)  To provide grants to municipalities, county
     2         conservation districts, watershed organizations and other
     3         authorized organizations for acid mine drainage
     4         abatement, mine cleanup efforts and well plugging.
     5             (iv)  To provide grants and technical assistance to
     6         municipalities, county conservation districts, watershed
     7         organizations and other authorized organizations to plan
     8         and implement local watershed-based conservation efforts,
     9         giving priority and other incentives to projects that
    10         support sound land use practices.
    11             (v)  To improve water-quality-impaired watersheds,
    12         including those polluted by past mining activities,
    13         agricultural and urban runoff, atmospheric deposition,
    14         on-lot sewage systems, and earth moving and timber
    15         harvesting activities. Priority and other incentives
    16         shall be given to projects which support sound land use
    17         practices.
    18         (2)  County conservation districts are authorized to
    19     further distribute grants from the Department of
    20     Environmental Protection to watershed organizations and other
    21     authorized organizations to assist in the implementation of
    22     this act.
    23     (c)  The authority.--The authority shall utilize its
    24  allocation from the fund for the following purposes:
    25         (1)  To provide financial assistance, including, but not
    26     limited to, grants, matching grants and low-interest loans
    27     for nonpoint sources, with incentives to promote sound land
    28     use practices.
    29         (2)  To provide financial assistance, including, but not
    30     limited to, grants, matching grants and low-interest loans
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     1     for water, storm water and sewer infrastructure projects and
     2     other incentives to promote sound land use practices for
     3     water, sewer and storm water projects in economically
     4     disadvantaged communities.
     5     (d)  Regulations.--The departments and the authority may
     6  promulgate such regulations necessary to carry out the purposes
     7  of this act.
     8  Section 6.  Property and equipment restrictions.
     9     (a)  Prohibiting.--Recipients of grants under this act may
    10  not dispose of or convert property or equipment acquired with
    11  grant funds for purposes other than the purposes approved in the
    12  project applications without the prior written approval of the
    13  agency which provided the grant.
    14     (b)  Remedy.--If disposition or conversion in violation of
    15  subsection (a) occurs, the agency may:
    16         (1)  Require the recipient to refund all grants for the
    17     particular project, including 10% annual interest, compounded
    18     four times annually, from the date the original grant was
    19     received until it is repaid.
    20         (2)  Require acquisition by the recipient of equivalent
    21     replacement land, as determined by the agency.
    22         (3)  Take possession of the property or equipment funded
    23     by the agency.
    24  Section 7.  Pollution prevention.
    25     The sum of $2,000,000 is hereby appropriated to the
    26  Department of Environmental Protection from the Hazardous Sites
    27  Cleanup Fund established for the purposes of expanding the Small
    28  Business and Household Pollution Prevention Program to provide
    29  on-site assessments and recommendations for pollution prevention
    30  and energy efficiency techniques for the fiscal year July 1,
    19990S0800B0942                  - 8 -

     1  1999, through June 30, 2000. The General Assembly may
     2  appropriate up to $2,000,000 in additional funds from the
     3  Hazardous Sites Cleanup Fund for this purpose in fiscal year
     4  2000-2001.
     5  Section 8.  Federal programs.
     6     Agencies may utilize available Federal funds to augment funds
     7  available under this act.
     8  Section 9.  Wild Resource Conservation Fund; duties of
     9                 Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
    10     (a)  Appropriation.--The moneys contained in the Wild
    11  Resource Conservation Fund are hereby appropriated, upon
    12  approval of the Governor, to the Department of Conservation and
    13  Natural Resources for the purposes of carrying out the
    14  provisions of subsection (b), section 5(a)(3) and the act of
    15  June 23, 1982 (P.L.597, No.170), known as the Wild Resource
    16  Conservation Act.
    17     (b)  Projects and programs.--The Wild Resource Conservation
    18  Board, after reviewing the recommendations of interested persons
    19  and consulting with the professional staffs of the agencies
    20  represented on the board, may approve projects or programs
    21  deemed necessary to preserve and enhance wild resources, for
    22  which the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources may
    23  allocate moneys from the Wild Resource Conservation Fund.
    24     (c)  Sale of stamps and decals.--The Department of
    25  Conservation and Natural Resources shall have the right to issue
    26  for sale to the public stamps, decals or other items of personal
    27  property intended to signify the interest of the purchaser in
    28  contributing to programs established by the department under
    29  this section, the net proceeds of which shall be deposited in
    30  the Wild Resource Conservation Fund.
    19990S0800B0942                  - 9 -

     1     (d)  Activities of other agencies.--The authority granted
     2  pursuant to subsection (c) shall not affect or interfere with
     3  similar authority vested by law in any agency represented on the
     4  board to sell items of personal property which promote the
     5  independent programs of those respective agencies. Said agencies
     6  shall likewise have the right to issue for sale items of
     7  personal property intended to signify the interest of the
     8  purchaser in contributing to programs established by the
     9  department, the net proceeds of which shall be deposited in the
    10  fund.
    11  Section 10.  Repeals.
    12     (a)  Municipal recycling grants.--Section 1937-A(b) of the
    13  act of April 9, 1929 (P.L.177, No.175), known as The
    14  Administrative Code of 1929, is repealed.
    15     (b)  Sewage construction payments to municipalities.--The act
    16  of August 20, 1953 (P.L.1217, No.339), entitled "An act
    17  providing for payments by the Commonwealth to municipalities
    18  which have expended money to acquire and construct sewage
    19  treatment plants in accordance with the Clean Streams Program
    20  and the act, approved the twenty-second day of June, one
    21  thousand nine hundred thirty-seven (Pamphlet Laws 1987), and
    22  making an appropriation," is repealed.
    23     (c)  Site-specific postclosure fund.--Sections 1108(b) and
    24  (c) of the act of July 28, 1988 (P.L.556, No.101), known as the
    25  Municipal Waste Planning, Recycling and Waste Reduction Act, are
    26  repealed. A county which established a landfill closure account
    27  may spend the money in that account to develop, implement plans
    28  that promote sound land use practices, fund county conservation
    29  districts, protect farmland or to accomplish any other purpose
    30  authorized by this act. An expenditure for farmland preservation
    19990S0800B0942                 - 10 -

     1  must comply with the act of June 30, 1981 (P.L.128, No.43),
     2  known as the Agricultural Area Security Law.
     3     (d)  Wild Resource Conservation.--Section 5305(d),
     4  5306(b)(3), (4), (5) and (6), (c), (d), (e), (f) and (g) of the
     5  act of June 23, 1982 (P.L.597, No.170), known as the Wild
     6  Resource Conservation Act, are repealed.
     7     (e)  General.--All other acts and parts of acts are repealed
     8  insofar as they are inconsistent with this act.
     9  Section 11.  Extension of fees.
    10     No fee shall be imposed under section 701 of the act of July
    11  28, 1988 (P.L.556, No.101), known as the Municipal Waste
    12  Planning, Recycling and Waste Reduction Act, on or after October
    13  15, 2004.
    14  Section 12.  Effective date.
    15     This act shall take effect July 1, 1999, or immediately,
    16  whichever is later.

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