The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee Tuesday reported out legislation establishing DCNR’s Heritage Areas Program in law and a bill on appointing alternates to the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin. The bills include--
-- House Bill 577 (Moul-R-Adams) providing for the appointment of alternates on the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin (House Fiscal Note and summary);
-- House Bill 1605 (James-R-Butler) establishing DCNR’s Heritage Areas Program in law (House Fiscal Note and summary).
It is worth noting, simply establishing a program in law is no guarantee whatsoever it will be funded by the General Assembly. Some quick examples--
-- The Act 339 Sewage Facilities Operating grants have not been funded for more than a decade. -- The PA Center for Environmental Education was established in law in 2008, but has not been funded since 2011.
-- The PA Senior Environment Corps, which involved 20,000 seniors in water quality sampling and other projects around the state, was established in law in 2004. The same year it celebrated its 10th Anniversary and after winning the United Nations Environmental Programme Award, the Rendell Administration eliminated its funding in 2007. Nature Abounds and DEP are now trying to revive the program.
The bills now go to the full Senate for consideration.Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming) serves as Majority Chair of the Senate Environmental Committee and can be contacted by sending email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Sen. John Yudichak (D-Luzerne) serves as Minority Chair and can be contacted by sending email to: email@example.com.