The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee today unanimously supported the nomination of Richard Allan for Secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
A resident of Cumberland County, Allan has served as executive director for the Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware members of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, and has served on the boards of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council and Pennsylvania Resources Council.
Acting Secretary Allan was a founding member of Back Mountain Recreation, Inc., a recreation and environmental facility in Luzerne County. He was also a founding member of the North Branch Land Trust, which provides management to more than 10,000 acres of land in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is responsible for maintaining and preserving the 117 state parks; managing the 2.1 million acres of state forest land; providing information on the state's ecological and geologic resources; and establishing community conservation partnerships with grants and technical assistance to benefit rivers, trails, greenways, local parks and recreation, regional heritage parks, open space and natural areas.
Video of the hearing is available on the Committee webpage.
The panel also unanimously approved the following eight bills:
-- Senate Bill 292 (Eichelberger-R-Blair) increasing bid limits for flood control projects;
-- Senate Bill 308 (Pippy-R-Allegheny) further providing for the eligibility of sewer laterals for funding;
-- Senate Bill 367 (D.White-R-Indiana) authorizing the leasing of mineral rights on other state lands and depositing the proceeds in the Environmental Stewardship Fund. The bill was amend to require a minimum of 50 percent of revenue received from bonus and lease payments to go to the Environmental Stewardship Fund or the Key '93 Fund. The remaining revenue will go into the General Fund. All money derived from the PA State System of Higher Education land will be deposited into the Key '93 Fund;
-- Senate Bill 460 (Yaw-R-Bradford) further providing for oil and gas leasing payments. The bill was amended to further defines and details "division order", "interest owner" and the items listed on the check stub, including contact information. Removes Section 3.3 through Section 3.9 dealing with late payments and dissolution of the lease;
-- Senate Bill 469 (Argall-R-Schuylkill) encouraging landowners to make land and water areas available for public recreation and was changed by a technical amendment;
-- Senate Bill 618 (Yudichak-D-Luzerne) providing independent counsel for Environmental Quality Board;
-- Senate Bill 791 (Earll-R-Erie) further providing for bluff setbacks along Lake Erie; and
-- Senate Bill 898 (Tomlinson-R-Bucks) further providing for the temporary cession of noncoal mining operations.
Sen. Mary Jo White (R-Venango) serves as Majority Chair and Sen. John Yudichak (D-Luzerne) serves as Minority Chair.
Copies of amendments and a video of the hearing are available at the Committee webpage.