Monday, September 22, 2014

PA League Of Women Voters Urges House Members To Oppose Anti-Buffer Bill

The PA League of Women Voters wrote to members of the House Sunday opposing House Bill 1565 (Hahn-R-Northampton) eliminating the nearly 4 year old requirement for stream buffers in High Quality and Exceptional Value streams.
A House vote is expected today (Monday).
The text of their message follows--
Subject: Please Vote No On House Bill 1565 And Protect Our Commonwealth’s Special Protection Streams
The League of Women Voters of the US and the League of Pennsylvania have advocated for protection of our drinking water resources for more than five decades.
We therefore, strongly urge you to continue the current requirement of 150 feet of vegetated riparian buffers for High Quality and Exceptional Value streams and we ask that you not shorten this distance for any reason.  
These buffers are needed as they are now mandated, not only to protect the high quality of drinking water needed by people downstream, but also to prevent serious erosion that would add to flood related damage.  
Allowing development too close to a stream removes the ecological structure that is needed to support our healthiest streams and thus, our drinking water.
We also feel that the Amendment’s (9397) exceptions and still shorter than current 150 feet present distances allowed would not adequately address these and other critical issues that are covered under current statute in the Clean Stream Act.  Any trade-offs where current buffers would be replaced by buffers placed elsewhere would also not be a sufficient protection/remedy.
Thank you for considering this input.

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