Friday, January 27, 2012

Rep. Bud George, Democratic Chair Of House Environmental Committee, To Retire

Long-time Democratic Chair of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee Rep. Bud George (D-Clearfield) announced Friday he will retire at the end of 2012.
            Rep. George was appointed Democratic Chair of the then House Conservation Committee in 1983.  As Chairman, he has sponsored and authored dozens of environmental initiatives in the area of environmental protection and natural resource conservation.
            As the ranking House member of a joint House-Senate Conference Committee, Rep. George was instrumental in the passage of Act 101, one of the first comprehensive solid waste management and recycling programs in the country. It was Rep. George's amendment that established the Recycling Fund, which provides monetary assistance to local governments to establish curbside recycling programs.
            Other George legislative achievements include:
-- A law giving the state the authority to confiscate trucks used in the illegal transportation of toxic substances;
-- A law prohibiting "backhauling," the practice of cross-hauling foodstuffs and solid wastes in the same truck;
-- Changes in Pennsylvania Surface Coal Mining law, providing for the replacement of public/private water supplies damaged by mining, as well as a program to encourage the reclamation of abandoned mine sites;
-- Change of sewage treatment laws to allow individuals and families to build homes with proper sewage disposal systems, while at the same time protecting surface and groundwater supplies;
-- Passage of legislation assisting owners of property with underground storage tanks to clean contaminated soil and remove old tanks, as well as protect against future discharges that could do significant damage to soil and groundwater supplies; and
-- Passage of a law creating the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PennVEST).
            Rep. George has also proposed legislation that would: protect citizens against frivolous (SLAPP) lawsuits filed by large corporations; initiate a bond issue to clean over 2,400 miles of contaminated streams and reclaim 280,000 acres of abandoned mines; provide a greater amount of consumer protection and information under the new Electric Deregulation Act, among many others.
            In addition to his Committee Chairmanship, Rep. George also serves as a member of the Environmental Quality Board, PennVEST, the Wild Resource Conservation Board, the Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control Committee, the House Democratic Policy Committee and the powerful House Rules Committee.
             "In one capacity or another I've worked with him since 1983 on almost every major piece of environmental legislation going through the General Assembly,"  said David E. Hess, former Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection.  "Whether you agreed with him or not, he was a force of nature to be reckoned with and he represented his constituents and the interests in his district as few legislators do.  I wish him well in retirement and the best to his family."
            Rep. George began his service in the House in 1974.
NewsClip: Rep. Camille "Bud" George To Retire At End Of Year

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