Thursday, June 21, 2018

House Adopts Resolution Asking Auditor General To Audit PennVEST Nonpoint Source Program As A Result Of Timber Loan

The House Thursday voted 192 to 0 to adopted House Resolution 948 (Causer-R-Cameron) requesting the Auditor General to do a financial audit of the PA Infrastructure Investment Authority nonpoint source water pollution control program.
No further legislative action is required.
“The overwhelming support for the resolution clearly demonstrates the widespread concern of lawmakers from across the state about these transactions and whether they are an appropriate or lawful use of PennVEST funds,” said Majority Chair Rep. Martin Causer. “We need to determine if these transactions are legal and whether they are appropriate.”
The resolution was prompted by a March 26 information meeting the Committee had on the $50 million in loans the PA Infrastructure Investment Authority made to Lyme Timber Company to help the private company buy 60,103 acres of private forest land in 6 Northern Tier Counties.
On the floor of the House and at the information meeting, members questioned whether financing the purchase of forest land by a private company was the best use of $50 million in PennVEST money.
The goal of the audit is to determine if the $50 million loan falls within the definition of “project” under Act 16 of 1988 that established PennVEST.
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