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PRINTER'S NO. 882
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
705
Session of
2017
INTRODUCED BY KILLION, ALLOWAY, McILHINNEY, ARGALL, BAKER,
BARTOLOTTA, BLAKE, BOSCOLA, BREWSTER, COSTA, DINNIMAN,
FONTANA, GORDNER, GREENLEAF, HAYWOOD, LANGERHOLC, McGARRIGLE,
MENSCH, RAFFERTY, RESCHENTHALER, SABATINA, SCHWANK, STEFANO,
VULAKOVICH, WARD, WHITE AND YUDICHAK, MAY 24, 2017
REFERRED TO ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES AND ENERGY, MAY 24, 2017
AN ACT
Amending Title 27 (Environmental Resources) of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes, in environmental stewardship and
watershed protection, further providing for legislative
findings, for the Environmental Stewardship Fund, for
agencies and for Commonwealth indebtedness and establishing
duties for the Department of Community and Economic
Development, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, the
Pennsylvania Game Commission and the Pennsylvania Historical
and Museum Commission.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Section 6102 of Title 27 of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes is amended to read:
§ 6102. Legislative findings.
The General Assembly hereby determines, declares and finds as
follows:
[(1) Ninety-six percent of the water-quality-impaired
watersheds in this Commonwealth are polluted because of
nonpoint sources of pollution such as past mining activities,
urban and agricultural runoff, atmospheric deposition, on-lot
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sewage systems and earthmoving.
(2) The Commonwealth continues to have unmet needs in
the area of water and sewer infrastructure. New and improved
water sources, treatment and distribution systems are
necessary for public drinking water supplies.
(3) The Commonwealth owns approximately 2.4 million
acres of State park and State forest lands and many of these
lands suffer from past environmental problems, including
unreclaimed mines, acid mine drainage and abandoned oil and
gas wells.
(4) Open space, greenways, recreational trails, river
corridors, fish and wildlife habitats, parks and recreation
areas and scenic environments protect the environment,
conserve natural resources and add value to communities.
(5) State programs and State funding should provide
maximum flexibility for elected county and municipal
governmental officials to identify, prioritize and address
local environmental concerns, including odor abatement
problems at sewage treatment plants.]
(1) As stated in section 27 of Article I of the
Constitution of Pennsylvania:
The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to
the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and
esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania's public
natural resources are the common property of all the
people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of
these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and
maintain them for the benefit of all the people.
(2) The Commonwealth has an obligation to provide
greater investments to conserve land and water resources,
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restore damaged waterways and land, and create prosperous and
sustainable communities.
(3) Clean water is vital:
(i) to the continued economic growth of this
Commonwealth;
(ii) to support tourism, agriculture, industry,
power generation and recreation;
(iii) for drinking water supplies; and
(iv) to protect public health and aquatic life.
(4) This Commonwealth has over 19,000 miles of streams
and rivers that do not meet Federal and State water quality
standards to protect aquatic life and provide swimmable
rivers and drinkable water supplies.
(5) Nonpoint sources of pollution continue to have a
negative impact on this Commonwealth's environment.
(6) This Commonwealth continues to have water and sewer
infrastructure needs. New and improved water sources,
treatment and distribution systems are necessary for public
drinking water supplies.
(7) As noted in the Commonwealth's award-winning 2014-
2019 Pennsylvania Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation
Plan, our 5,600 local parks and recreation areas are the most
frequently visited recreational assets in this Commonwealth,
and most need additional funding to address aging
infrastructure, deferred maintenance and capacity to carry
out programs and services.
(8) The Commonwealth owns approximately 2.5 million
acres of State park and State forest lands. Our State park
system has estimated many of these parks have environmental
projects and infrastructure and deferred maintenance needs,
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such as dams, roads, bridges, water and wastewater treatment
facilities, buildings and boat launches.
(9) Conservation of public and private forest lands is a
cost-effective method for protecting water quality. Forest
lands function as a reserve of clean water for this
Commonwealth, including municipalities that rely on public
water supplies drawn from water resources on public and
private forested properties. Forest lands act as groundwater
recharge areas, protect surface water quality, reduce soil
erosion, enhance fish and wildlife habitats and provide
opportunities for fishing, boating, hunting and trapping.
(10) Abandoned mines remain across 189,000 acres in 43
counties and are the cause of more than 5,500 miles of
biologically compromised streams.
(11) More than 2,000 working farms remain on county
waiting lists to be preserved for continued agricultural use.
(12) Open space, greenways, recreational trails, river
corridors, fish and wildlife habitats, parks and recreation
areas and scenic areas protect the environment, conserve
natural resources and add quality of life value that attracts
jobs, are essential to Pennsylvania's outdoor recreation and
tourism industries and improve public health.
(13) Investments in urban parks, trails, greenways,
riverfronts, green infrastructure and other natural assets
are increasingly understood to be advantageous to local
economies, attracting and retaining residents and providing
opportunities to creatively address significant challenges
such as storm water and flooding.
(14) State programs and State funding should provide
opportunity and flexibility for elected county and municipal
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government officials and authorized organizations to
identify, prioritize and address local environmental
concerns.
Section 2. Section 6104(d)(6) of Title 27 is amended and the
subsection is amended by adding a paragraph to read:
§ 6104. Fund.
* * *
(d) Allocation.--The money appropriated in subsection (c)
shall be allocated annually as follows:
* * *
(6) For fiscal [year 2007-2008 and each year thereafter]
years 2007-2008, 2008-2009, 2009-2010, 2010-2011, 2011-2012,
2012-2013, 2013-2014, 2014-2015, 2015-2016 and 2016-2017,
moneys in the fund shall be allocated in accordance with
paragraph (2).
(7) For fiscal year 2017-2018 and each year thereafter,
moneys in the fund shall be allocated as follows:
(i) Twenty-eight and nine-tenths percent to the
Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, which
shall use the allocation as follows:
(A) At least 50% for grants for projects of
which the recipient is a county or other
municipality, council of governments, conservation
district or authorized organization.
(B) At least 10% for land trust projects.
(C) At least 4.5% for the Heritage Areas
Program.
(D) For fiscal years 2017-2018, 2018-2019, 2019-
2020, 2020-2021, 2021-2022 and 2022-2023, at least
30% for projects and programs located within the
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watershed of the Susquehanna River and its
tributaries.
(ii) Thirty-eight and two-tenths percent to the
Department of Environmental Protection, which, for fiscal
years 2017-2018, 2018-2019, 2019-2020, 2020-2021, 2021-
2022 and 2022-2023, shall use at least 40% of its funds
for projects and programs within the watershed of the
Susquehanna River and its tributaries.
(iii) Nineteen and seven-tenths percent to the
Department of Agriculture, which shall use the allocation
as follows:
(A) At least 12% for grants to authorized
organizations to preserve farmland.
(B) For fiscal years 2017-2018, 2018-2019, 2019-
2020, 2020-2021, 2021-2022 and 2022-2023, at least
40% for projects and programs located within the
watershed of the Susquehanna River and its
tributaries.
(iv) Four and six-tenths percent to the authority,
which, for fiscal years 2017-2018, 2018-2019, 2019-2020,
2020-2021, 2021-2022 and 2022-2023, shall use at least
40% of its funds for projects and programs located within
the watershed of the Susquehanna River and its
tributaries.
(v) Three and six-tenths percent to the Department
of Community and Economic Development.
(vi) Two and six-tenths percent to the Pennsylvania
Fish and Boat Commission.
(vii) One and three-tenths percent to the
Pennsylvania Game Commission.
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(viii) One and one-tenth percent to the Pennsylvania
Historical and Museum Commission.
* * *
Section 3. Sections 6105 and 6115(d)(4) of Title 27 are
amended to read:
§ 6105. Agencies.
(a) The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.--
(1) The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
shall utilize money it receives from the fund for the
following purposes:
(i) To rehabilitate, repair and develop State park
and State forest lands and facilities and the acquisition
of [interior] lands [within] for State parks and State
forests.
(ii) To provide grants to a county or other
municipality, council of governments, conservation
districts and authorized organizations for the purpose of
planning, education, acquisition, development,
rehabilitation and repair of greenways, recreational
trails, including connections between trails, open space,
natural areas, river corridors and access to riverfronts,
watersheds, community [and heritage] parks and recreation
facilities; community conservation and beautification
projects; forest conservation[;], including conservation
of forested riparian buffers; heritage areas; and other
conservation and recreation purposes. Grants under this
paragraph may not be used by an authorized organization
for land acquisition unless the authorized organization
obtains the approval of all counties in which the land is
situated. Grant moneys may also be used for the
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acquisition of farmland for the purposes set forth in
this paragraph.
(iii) To provide grants to a county or other
municipality and authorized organizations for the purpose
of research, planning, inventories and technical
assistance intended to protect and conserve the
biological diversity of this Commonwealth.
(iv) To support forest conservation easements,
including funding for a working forest conservation
easement initiative to preserve the availability of
privately owned forest land for sustainable, commercial
timbering and other forest-dependent economic uses.
(v) To provide funding to the Wild Resource
Conservation Fund for the conservation of nongame
wildlife and native wild flora and their habitats, to
conduct and support research to preserve this
Commonwealth's biodiversity and to educate the public on
the value of conserving these species and their habitats.
(vi) To provide funding for the Heritage Areas
Program established under Article XVI-J of the act of
April 9, 1929 (P.L.343, No.176), known as The Fiscal
Code.
(2) The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
may require matching funds as a condition of the award of a
grant under this subsection.
(b) The Department of Environmental Protection.--
(1) The Department of Environmental Protection shall
utilize money it receives from the fund for the following
purposes:
(i) To implement acid mine drainage abatement and
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cleanup efforts and abandoned mine land cleanup efforts
and plug abandoned and orphan oil and gas wells.
(ii) To provide funding for technical assistance and
financial incentives to facilitate remining.
(iii) To provide grants to a county or other
municipality, council of governments, county conservation
districts, watershed organizations and other authorized
organizations for acid mine drainage abatement and
cleanup, mine and mine land cleanup efforts and well
plugging.
(iv) To provide grants and technical assistance to a
county or other municipality, council of governments,
county conservation districts, watershed organizations
and other authorized organizations to plan and implement
local watershed-based conservation efforts.
(v) To improve water-quality-impaired watersheds,
including those polluted by past mining activities,
agricultural and urban runoff, atmospheric deposition,
on-lot sewage systems and earthmoving activities.
(vii) For watershed protection.
(viii) For the reduction of nonpoint source
pollution and protection of local drinking water supplies
through grants to watershed organizations and other
authorized organizations, the creation of forested and
other vegetative stream buffers and watershed restoration
efforts, including, but not limited to, reducing runoff
from agriculture, construction, waste disposal and
abandoned mine and mine land sites.
(ix) For grants to characterize, remediate or
eliminate environmental hazards at abandoned industrial
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properties or brownfields and to promote economic
development by facilitating the return of these
properties to productive use.
(x) For nonstructural floodplain management and
mitigation measures to minimize flood damage, reclaim and
restore the quality of floodplains, remove obstacles and
improve the natural functions of stream channels.
(xi) For grants to municipalities and municipal
authorities to design and build projects and implement
best management practices, with an emphasis on green
infrastructure, in order to implement Municipal Separate
Storm Sewer System (MS4) plans or which count toward the
reductions identified in the Pennsylvania Integrated
Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report, implement
Total Maximum Daily Load Plans or the Chesapeake Bay
Total Maximum Daily Load requirements.
(xii) For the Pennsylvania Energy Harvest Program
for the purpose of providing grants to farms and small
businesses for renewable energy systems, including, but
not limited to, those using solar, wind and methane
digester technologies.
(xiii) For funding to participating county
conservation districts to assist the owners of farms and
other properties in protecting local water quality and
improving the soil, water and air through the
installation and maintenance of best maintenance
practices.
(2) County conservation districts may further distribute
grants received under this section to watershed organizations
and other authorized organizations to assist in the
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implementation of this chapter.
(3) The Department of Environmental Protection may
require matching funds as a condition of the award of a grant
under this subsection.
(4) For the period commencing with the effective date of
this chapter and ending June 30, 2004, the Department of
Environmental Protection may utilize up to 10% of the money
allocated annually to it under section 6104(d) (relating to
fund) to provide grants for safe drinking water projects and
wastewater treatment projects. Grants under this paragraph
shall be made for the same purposes and shall be subject to
the same limitations as grants authorized in section 6110.
(c) Department of Agriculture.--Funds allocated to the
Department of Agriculture under this chapter shall be [deposited
in the] used for the following purposes:
(1) For counties to preserve farmland through the
Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Fund [and are]
subject to the provisions of the act of June 30, 1981
(P.L.128, No.43), known as the Agricultural Area Security
Law.
(2) For grants to authorized organizations to preserve
farmland through the acquisition of conservation easements
conforming with section 170(h) of the Internal Revenue Code
of 1986 (Public Law 99-514, 26 U.S.C. § 170(h)).
(3) For disbursement to the State Conservation
Commission for the cost of tax credits for eligible
agricultural operations that implement the best management
practices and meet the requirements of the Resource
Enhancement and Protection Tax Credit under Article XVII-E of
the act of March 4, 1971 (P.L.6, No.2), known as the Tax
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Reform Code of 1971.
(4) To provide funding and technical assistance, in
cooperation with the State Conservation Commission, to assist
the owners of farms and other properties in protecting local
water quality and in improving the quality of the soil, water
and air through the installation and maintenance of best
management practices. Fifty percent of the funding
distributed under this paragraph shall be provided to
participating county conservation districts.
(5) To encourage new farmers and assure the viability of
preserved farms by creating financial incentives and
enhancing access to farmland and capital through a low-
interest loan program administered by the Department of
Agriculture.
(d) The authority.--The authority shall utilize money it
receives from the fund to provide financial assistance in the
form of grants and matching grants for storm water, water and
sewer infrastructure projects, including construction or
rehabilitation of collection and conveyance systems. The
authority shall develop criteria to be used to award grants
under this subsection. The criteria and proposed changes thereto
shall be submitted to the Environmental Resources and Energy
Committee of the Senate and the Environmental Resources and
Energy Committee of the House of Representatives for review and
comment. The committees shall have 60 days to submit comments to
the authority. Criteria shall be reviewed by the authority and
the committees at least once every three years.
(d.1) Department of Community and Economic Development.--
(1) The Department of Community and Economic Development
shall utilize money it receives from the fund for the
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following purposes:
(i) For grants to fund grassroots community and
regional planning efforts that support wise land use
decisions by balancing development needs with
conservation, recreation and preservation needs.
(ii) For grants to support the greening of urban
communities, including, but not limited to, bicycle and
pedestrian trails, greenways, downtown parks, community
gardens, retrofits of significant community buildings for
energy efficiency and reuse, streetscape improvements and
renewable energy projects. The grants shall have a
demonstrable environmental or conservation benefit. The
Department of Community and Economic Development shall
consult with the Department of Environmental Protection
and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
on recommendations of projects to be funded.
(iii) For the Elm Street Program created by the act
of February 9, 2004 (P.L.61, No.7), known as the Elm
Street Program Act.
(iv) For the Main Street Program created by the act
of April 23, 2002 (P.L.298, No.39), known as the Main
Street Act.
(2) The Department of Community and Economic Development
may require matching funds as a condition of the award of a
grant under this subsection.
(d.2) Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.--Funds
allocated to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission under
this chapter shall be used for the following purposes:
(1) For improvements to public access areas owned by the
commission or grants to municipalities or organizations for
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the purpose of improving public access to the waters of this
Commonwealth.
(2) For maintenance and rehabilitation of dams located
at lakes owned by the commission, including the installation
of habitat enhancements and improved public access.
(3) For upgrades and improvements to State fish
hatcheries to maintain and improve water quality and reduce
operating costs.
(4) For grants to organizations that participate in the
Cooperative Nursery Program.
(5) For projects to improve fish and aquatic habitat,
including, but not limited to, instream fish habitat,
riparian buffers, fish passages and the removal of small
dams.
(d.3) Pennsylvania Game Commission.--Funds allocated to the
Pennsylvania Game Commission under this chapter shall be used
for the following purposes:
(1) To rehabilitate water control structures on State
game lands in order to improve wetland habitat for water fowl
and other wildlife and to improve water quality.
(2) For improvements to facilities on State game lands,
including, but not limited to, improved road access, enhanced
access for persons with disabilities and older persons and
the construction of two wildlife conservation education
centers.
(d.4) Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.--Funds
allocated to the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission
under this chapter shall be used for a historic preservation
project grant program for the planning and development of
publicly accessible historic resources listed in or eligible for
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listing in the National Register of Historic Places. The grants
shall support projects that identify, preserve, promote and
protect historic and archaeological resources of this
Commonwealth for both the benefit of the public and the
revitalization of communities.
(e) Administrative expense limitation.--The departments,
commissions and the authority may not expend more than [2.5%] 5%
of the moneys received from the fund on administrative expenses.
The Department of Environmental Protection may not expend more
than an aggregate of 2.5% of the moneys received from the fund
and the moneys directed to the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Fund
pursuant to section 6104(d)(4) and (5) on administrative
expenses. Grant recipients that receive moneys from the fund for
the purposes set forth in this section may not expend more than
[5%] 7.5% of the moneys received from the fund on administrative
expenses.
(f) Expenditure limitation.--No moneys made available
through the fund shall be used for any purpose which, directly
or indirectly, precludes access to or use of any forested land
for the practice of sustainable forestry and commercial
production of timber or other forest products. This subsection
shall not apply to funds used [by the Department of Conservation
and Natural Resources, counties or municipalities] for the
purchase or improvement of park land to be used for public
recreation.
(g) Regulations.--The departments, commissions and the
authority may promulgate regulations necessary to carry out the
purposes of this chapter.
§ 6115. Commonwealth indebtedness.
* * *
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(d) Debt retirement.--
* * *
(4) The Secretary of the Budget, upon approval by the
Governor, shall utilize up to $60,000,000 of the moneys in
the fund on an annual basis for payment of principle and
interest for debt service on bonds issued pursuant to this
section and any other debt incurred by the Commonwealth for
projects eligible for funding under this chapter. The
authority of the Secretary of the Budget under this paragraph
shall expire June 30, 2018.
* * *
Section 4. This act shall be known and may be cited as the
Growing Greener III Act.
Section 5. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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