PennFuture praises new stormwater law

Jul 09, 2013, 16:35 ET from PennFuture

Bill proposed by PennFuture will make clear local governments can form authorities to control pollution from stormwater; leadership provided by Sen. Erickson and Rep. Harper critical to passage

HARRISBURG, Pa., July 9, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- PennFuture today praised the Pennsylvania General Assembly and Governor Corbett for the enactment of Sen. Ted Erickson's, R-Delaware, Senate Bill 351 as a wise move to ensure that local governments have the ability to form stormwater authorities to address flooding and reduce pollution to our streams and rivers. Governor Corbett today signed the bill into law. 

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"Senate Bill 351 will now give municipalities the option to create stormwater authorities, which many municipalities have been reluctant to create without express legislative authorization," said George Jugovic, chair of PennFuture's law staff. "Stormwater authorities will allow communities to work together to address stormwater issues on a watershed basis and provide municipalities with potential sources of funding and expertise for stormwater planning and projects."

Runoff that is not properly managed causes flooding and carries pollution such as heavy metals, sediment and nutrients from our cities and towns untreated into rivers, lakes and streams or through storm drains.

PennFuture proposed the legislation in 2011, and PennFuture policy director Steve Stroman worked closely with Sen. Erickson, House Local Government Committee Majority Chair Kate Harper, R-Montgomery, Minority Chair Robert Freeman, D-Northampton, and other members of the General Assembly over the past two years in order to pass Senate Bill 351 into law.

"PennFuture congratulates Sen. Erickson for his strong leadership in passing this important legislation, specifically building near-unanimous support in the Senate and working with the Senate Republican leadership to get the bill to Governor Corbett's desk," said Stroman. "Rep. Harper, who sponsored identical legislation in the form of HB 821, did an extraordinary job guiding the bill through the House Local Government Committee and then around some challenging shoals toward a final passage vote in the House. We also commend Rep. Freeman for his strong support and diligent work on behalf of this legislation," continued Stroman.

Stroman also praised the work of the Pennsylvania Municipal Authorities Association, Pennsylvania Environmental Council, Chesapeake Bay Foundation and many local government officials in advocating for the legislation. 

"Stormwater can have a catastrophic effect on life, property and communities, and is also one of the largest sources of pollution to Pennsylvania's rivers and streams," said Stroman. "We commend the General Assembly and Governor Corbett for providing this new and important tool to local governments to help address the problem." 

PennFuture is a statewide public interest membership organization, founded in 1998, with staff in Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Wilkes-Barre. PennFuture'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.

The Philadelphia Inquirer called PennFuture the "state's leading environmental advocacy organization;" the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette named the organization "one of the 10 most influential groups on the issue of natural gas drilling;" and StateImpact Pennsylvania, an online collaboration of NPR stations across the state, called PennFuture "the commonwealth's main environmental advocate."

Contact: Elaine Labalme
(412) 996-4112

SOURCE PennFuture