PennFuture praises new law to address storm water

Bill will provide storm water authorities a new tool to encourage voluntary efforts to reduce storm water

Jul 10, 2014, 16:48 ET from PennFuture

HARRISBURG, Pa., July 10, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- PennFuture today praised the Pennsylvania General Assembly and Governor Tom Corbett for the passage of Senator Ted Erickson's Senate Bill 1255 that provides new options for local governments to address the widespread problem of storm water runoff. Governor Corbett signed SB 1255 into law last night as Act 123 of 2014.

SB 1255 builds on the enactment of Act 68 of 2013, also sponsored by Senator Erickson, R-Delaware, that allows local governments to form storm water authorities. A number of local governments across Pennsylvania, such as Hampden Township in Cumberland County, are now moving to take advantage of Act 68.

SB 1255 now gives these storm water authorities the option to establish programs to allow property owners to reduce any charges or fees by implementing and maintaining storm water management best practices. For example, a large property owner could lower their rates or charges by reducing the amount of impervious surfaces by adding green roofs, riparian buffers or other features that reduce the flow of storm water from their properties.

"We thank and greatly appreciate Senator Erickson for his leadership in developing and passing this legislation," said Steve Stroman, policy director for PennFuture, "and also salute House Local Government Committee Chair Kate Harper, R-Montgomery, for her vital role in shepherding SB 1255 through her committee and then the full House in short order."

Stroman continued, "This legislation provides an important tool for local governments to encourage voluntary efforts by property owners to reduce the flow of storm water from their properties, and lower the overall cost of complying with federal and state regulatory requirements regarding polluted runoff."

"Storm water not only has devastating impacts on citizens and communities, but it is also one of the most significant sources of pollution to Pennsylvania's rivers and streams," said Jen Quinn, central Pennsylvania outreach coordinator for PennFuture and state lead for the Choose Clean Water Coalition. "We look forward to working with local governments that wish to take advantage of these tools to reduce polluted runoff."

Stroman also praised the work of the Pennsylvania Municipal Authorities Association, Pennsylvania Environmental Council, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and Brian Glass, an attorney with Warren Glass Law, for their work in successfully advocating for the new legislation.

PennFuture is a statewide public interest membership organization founded in 1998 with offices in Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Wilkes-Barre. The organization's activities include litigating cases before regulatory bodies and in local, state, and federal courts; advocating and advancing legislative action on a state and federal level; public education; and assisting citizens in public advocacy.

Contact: Elaine Labalme

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SOURCE PennFuture