Wednesday, June 6, 2018

House Passes Bill To Encourage Use Of Native Vegetation Along Highways

By a vote of 194 to 1, the House Wednesday passed House Bill 2131 (Quigley-R-Montgomery) encouraging the use of native vegetation along highways.
“(This legislation encourages) the Department of Transportation to plant vegetation, which has been identified by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, as being native to Pennsylvania,” said Rep. Tom Quigley, prime sponsor of the bill.  “In this way, native vegetation planted along highways will thrive because those plants are better adapted to local conditions. Native vegetation is also more likely to support wildlife, while discouraging invasive plant species in our fair Commonwealth.”
Under the bill PennDOT is required to consult with DCNR and the Controlled Plant and Noxious Weed Committee to develop a list of particular species of vegetation that can be used for roadside plantings.
The bill also includes a process for PennDOT to allow for planting nonnative species where it is no feasible, provided they are deemed not invasive or detrimental to the environment.
A House Fiscal Note and summary is available.
The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

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