Friday, March 14, 2014

March 17 PA Environment Digest Now Available

The March 17 PA Environment Digest is now available.  Click Here to print entire Digest.

Tough Opposition Delays House Vote On Endangered Species Bill, But It Isn’t Over

Attempts by sponsors to have a House vote this week on House Bill 1576 (Pyle-R-Armstrong), which would remove significant protections for threatened and endangered species during environmental permit reviews, suffered a setback this week as a nearly united coalition of sportsmen and environmental groups worked to oppose the bill.
The Pennsylvania Environmental Council, Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA and many other groups opposed the bill because it would do nothing to address the real permit review issues of concern to many while significantly limiting protection for species.
“House Bill 1576 makes no actual changes to the current permit review process – instead, it places political hurdles in front of new species listings, and imposes unclear standards on listing determinations and data sharing. It also systematically drops hundreds of species of concern from the permit review process, irrespective of their status in the state, welcoming potential federal listings in the future,” said John Walliser, Vice President, Legal & Government Affairs for PEC.
But this issue isn’t over.  House Bill 1576 remains on the House voting schedule for next week.  
There is also a companion bill in the Senate-- Senate Bill 1047 (Scarnati-R-Jefferson)-- that same thing.  Sen. Rich Alloway (R-Adams), Majority Chair of the Senate Game and Fisheries Committee, indicated he was planning to have a second hearing on the Senate Bill, but it has not yet been scheduled.

In Memoriam: Arthur A. Davis, Former Secretary Dept. Of Environmental Resources

Former Department of Environmental Resources Secretary Arthur A. Davis (91) passed away at his home on March 9 surrounded by his wife and other family members.
Davis served as DER Secretary from January 1987 to January 1995 under Gov. Robert P. Casey and was the fifth Secretary of the agency. Click Here for a remembrance.

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