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PRINTER'S NO. 2098
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
1611
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY RABB, MADDEN, SCHLOSSBERG, McCARTER, RAVENSTAHL,
SOLOMON, FREEMAN, FRANKEL, SAPPEY, CIRESI, WARREN, DeLUCA,
D. MILLER, DALEY, HILL-EVANS, KAUFER, OTTEN AND McCLINTON,
JUNE 11, 2019
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES AND ENERGY,
JUNE 11, 2019
AN ACT
Amending Title 27 (Environmental Resources) of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes, providing for Plastic Pollution Task
Force and for its powers and duties.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Title 27 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated
Statutes is amended by adding a chapter to read:
CHAPTER 67
PLASTIC POLLUTION TASK FORCE
Sec.
6701. Short title of chapter.
6702. Findings.
6703. Definitions.
6704. Establishment.
6705. Membership.
6706. Meetings.
6707. Powers and duties.
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6708. Report.
6709. Expiration.
§ 6701. Short title of chapter.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the Plastic
Pollution Task Force Act.
§ 6702. Findings.
The General Assembly finds that:
(1) Over the years, plastic pollution has taken a toll
on the environmental well-being of this Commonwealth.
(2) Both marine and terrestrial wildlife have been
affected by the rise of plastic pollution.
§ 6703. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this chapter
shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Department." The Department of Environmental Protection of
the Commonwealth.
"Secretary." The Secretary of Environmental Protection of
the Commonwealth.
"Task force." The Plastic Pollution Task Force established
under section 6704 (relating to establishment).
§ 6704. Establishment.
The Plastic Pollution Task Force is established within the
department.
§ 6705. Membership.
The task force shall consist of the following members:
(1) The secretary, or a designee, who shall serve as the
chairperson of the task force.
(2) The Secretary of Health, or a designee.
(3) Three members of the public appointed by the
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Governor as follows, who shall be appointed within 30 days of
the effective date of this section:
(i) One member of this Commonwealth's business
community with expertise, knowledge or experience in
plastic recycling and disposal.
(ii) One member of this Commonwealth's academic
community with expertise, knowledge and experience in
environmental protection, ecology or plastic pollution
mitigation.
(iii) One member from a national or Statewide
environmental organization with expertise, knowledge or
experience in environmental protection, ecology or
plastic pollution mitigation.
§ 6706. Meetings.
(a) General rule.--The first meeting shall be convened
within 45 days of the effective date of this section and the
following shall apply:
(1) The physical presence of a majority of the members
shall constitute a quorum.
(2) Action of the task force must be authorized by a
majority vote of members.
(3) A member not physically present may participate by
teleconference or videoconference.
(4) The chairperson shall schedule a meeting upon
written request of a three-fifths majority of the members.
(b) Public meetings.--The task force shall hold public
hearings as necessary to obtain information.
(c) Cooperation between departments.--The department and the
Department of Health shall cooperate to provide administrative
or other assistance to the task force.
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(d) Reimbursement.--Members may not receive compensation but
shall be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses
incurred in the service of the task force.
§ 6707. Powers and duties.
The task force shall have the following powers and duties:
(1) To study the most efficient means of reducing
plastic pollution in this Commonwealth and its waters.
(2) To develop uniform policies for the State and local
government units to address plastic pollution and for a
coordinated response to the threat posed by plastic pollution
to this Commonwealth's ecological and environmental
resources.
(3) To hold public hearings for the taking of testimony
and the requesting of documents.
(4) Through its chairperson, to administer oaths and
affirmations to witnesses appearing before the task force.
(5) To issue a final report, no later than one year
after the effective date of this section, to the Governor,
the Senate and the House of Representatives. In addition to
any information that the task force deems appropriate, the
report shall include recommendations regarding the following:
(i) Reducing the amount of plastic entering the
waste stream.
(ii) Reducing and removing existing plastic
pollution.
(iii) Addressing microplastic pollution in the
waterways of this Commonwealth.
(iv) Restoring ecosystems that have been damaged by
plastic pollution to ecosystems' natural condition.
(v) Estimating the resources necessary for the
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implementation of the policies suggested in the report.
(vi) Specific legislative recommendations and
regulatory action and model ordinances that are necessary
to implement the recommendations in the report.
(vii) Establishing State and local programs to
mitigate plastic pollution, provide financial and market
tools and educational programs that may be employed to
help reduce plastic pollution and develop other tools or
resources the task force deems effective to combat
plastic pollution in this Commonwealth.
§ 6708. Report.
The report made under this act shall be:
(1) approved at a public meeting in accordance with
section 6706 (relating to meetings); and
(2) a public record under the act of February 14, 2008
(P.L.6, No.3), known as the Right-to-Know Law.
§ 6709. Expiration.
The task force shall expire 30 days after issuing the final
report under section 6707(5) (relating to powers and duties).
Section 2. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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