Despite all of our collective efforts, and the efforts of our conservation partners, on October 14 the PA Senate voted 27-22 to pass HB1565 (PN4258). The bill will now go to the House for concurrence.
Senators Baker and Brubaker spoke in support of 1565, while Senators Dinniman, Rafferty, and Ferlo spoke in opposition to the bill. While the outcome is certainly not what we want, it is better than the original bill that would have just removed the riparian buffer requirement…period. It is apparent that the amendments adopted over the past few weeks, particularly those made in the Senate Environmental Resources & Energy Committee, were in response to concerns we raised about vagueness of the bill language and the effectiveness of buffers. So thank you for sending that message to Senators!
Regardless, our work on this issue; i.e. protecting buffers...is certainly not done. DEP will very likely be developing regulations next year, and there will be opportunities for public input. It will be important for TU to weigh in on those regulations, to ensure that they are as protective as the law will allow.
Again, thank all of you for your efforts! And if your Senator voted No on this bill, please be sure to thank him or her for standing up for what’s best for our coldwater resources.
To find out how your Senator voted, see the following: