Sunday, November 24, 2019

Is It Raining Where You Are? Good News! State Legislators Saved You Money By NOT Investing More In Local Flood Damage Reduction, Stormwater Management Projects!

So, it's probably raining where you are in Pennsylvania.  Many are watching local creeks nervously. Others are wondering why areas that never flood after a rain are now flooding. Some are wondering why roads and bridges damaged by flooding in 2018 and 2019 haven’t been fixed.
But good news!  Your House and Senate members have saved you money by NOT investing more of your hard earned tax money in local projects to reduce flood damage, manage stormwater and clean up your streams!
Or, is it good news?
The General Assembly actually cut $16 million from the Environmental Stewardship Fund which funds local, on-the-ground conservation practices that could have addressed many of these problems in the FY 2019-20 state budget.
The House and Senate members now running the General Assembly are ignoring a recent Center for Rural Pennsylvania study showing there has been a 70 percent increase in heavy precipitation events in Pennsylvania and the Northeast between 1958 and 2010 putting more people and property at risk from flooding.
They are ignoring the fact PennDOT experienced record breaking road and bridge damage from floods and rain-caused landslides in 2018 alone costing taxpayers $125.7 million.
They are ignoring a recent report by the state Auditor General that flooding and other impacts from climate change cost taxpayers a total of $261 million in 2018.
They are ignoring the fact many localized rain storms causing property damage often don’t qualify for federal disaster assistance and state taxpayers have to pick up the full cost of repairs, or worse, leaving residents hanging without any state support.
They are ignoring the fact communities have to adopt local stormwater management fees to pay for projects to prevent flooding and stormwater damage because House and Senate members won’t help.
But thank goodness someone is showing leadership and acting responsibly!
There is a tremendous need for additional state funding to address critical drinking water, stormwater, flooding, wastewater and nutrient and sediment reduction issues all across Pennsylvania.
Click Here to see which streams near you are polluted and don’t meet water quality standards.
(Photo: Cartoon by PA Land Trust Association intern Rhiannon Loza.)

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