Friday, June 2, 2017

Senate Appropriations To Consider Bills Changing Stream Protections From Mining, Recycling Fee Sunset, Voting On Regs

The agenda for the June 5 Senate Appropriations Committee meeting includes legislation retroactively changing the protection streams receive from underground coal mining, eliminating the sunset on the recycling fee and legislation requiring the General Assembly to vote to approve regulations.
The bills to be considered are--
-- Eliminate Stream Protection: Senate Bill 624 (Scarnati-R-Jefferson) which retroactively changes the protection streams receive under Act 54 from underground coal mining.  The bill was introduced to influence an appeal now pending before the Environmental Hearing Board of an underground coal mining permit allowing Consol to longwall mine under streams in and around Ryerson Station State Park in Greene County.  (EHB Docket No. 2014-072-B)
Groups like the PA Environmental Council have opposed the bill on the grounds recent studies by the Department of Environmental Protection have demonstrated the existing protections in Act 54 are not adequate to prevent permanent, long-term damage to streams. Click Here for more.
-- Eliminate Recycling Fee Sunset: Senate Bill 646 (Killion-R-Delaware) would prevent a funding crisis in the state’s Recycling Program by eliminating the expiration date for the Act 101 $2 per ton recycling fee on waste disposed in Pennsylvania.  
DEP has already stopped accepting new applications for local recycling implementation grants until the fee issue is resolved by the General Assembly.  The fee was due to sunset on January 1, 2020.  Click Here for more.
-- Voting To Approve Regulations: Senate Bill 561 (Disanto-R-Dauphin) which requires an up or down vote by the General Assembly on every final regulation approved by the Independent Regulatory Review Commission if that regulation has a fiscal impact of $1 million or more.  If the General Assembly does not vote, the regulation would die.  Click Here for more.
The meeting will be held Off the Floor meeting in the Rules Room, meaning it will be called any time after the Senate convenes in session Monday.
Sen. Pat Browne (R-Lehigh) serves as Majority Chair of the Committee and can be contacted by sending email to:  Sen. Vincent Hughes (D-Philadelphia) serves as Minority Chair and can be contacted by sending email to:

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