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Proposed legislation would remove permitting for stream maintenance activities

Harrisburg, PA – State Rep. Mike Armanini (R-Clearfield/Elk) is part of a legislative effort to confront the difficulty faced by local municipalities when attempting to maintain waterways in their jurisdiction and address the threat of flooding.

“Pennsylvania is well known for the hoops it requires small businesses to jump through when they are trying to get their feet on the ground,” Armanini said. “In this case, my House colleagues and I are hoping to remove similar types of hurdles placed in front of our boroughs and townships as they attempt to perform simple upkeep on streams and waterways.”

Armanini’s proposal is one eight pieces of legislation in the Stream Maintenance Package. His House Bill 2408 would do away with the requirement that permits must be obtained in order to preserve culverts.

“As opposed to a bridge, maintaining a culvert is comparatively simple because the makeup of the structure isn’t as complicated,” added Armanini. “Conducting the necessary repairs and maintenance are just as important, but having to go through the rather exhaustive process of obtaining a permit before any work can be done isn’t warranted.”

Here is a list of the other bills in the package:

House Bill 2404 (Rep. Clint Owlett, R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter): Would allow local government organizations to apply for a permit for continuing maintenance for a period of at least 10 years for the streams within their jurisdiction. This permit would grant an affirmative duty to the local government entity to properly maintain the streams and would not require the local government to get pre-approval for maintenance projects.

House Bill 2405 (Rep. Tina Pickett, R-Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna): Would create a program that allows counties to opt in to address hazards within their streams by allowing for emergency maintenance permits in consultation with their county conservation district. This is modeled after a pilot project that has proven successful in Bradford County.

House Bill 2406 (Rep. Jonathan Fritz, R-Susquehanna/Wayne): Would create a permit specific to smaller maintenance projects for the mitigation of flood-related hazards of less than 250 linear feet. This permit would be reviewed and issued by the local county conservation district.

House Bill 2407 (Rep. Joe Hamm, R-Lycoming/Union): Would clarify that the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has no authority for permitting or enforcement related to stream clearing or maintenance activities. This authority shall belong solely to DEP and the county conservation districts as appropriate.

House Bill 2409 (Rep. Tim O’Neal, R-Washington): Would state that no permit shall be required for the removal of flood-related hazards from streams that are deemed to be an emergency by a state or county.

House Bill 2410 (Rep. Brian Smith, R-Jefferson/Indiana): Would state that no permit shall be required for stream maintenance activities conducted 50 feet or less upstream or downstream of a bridge or culvert.

House Bill 2411 (Rep. John Hershey, R-Mifflin/Juniata/Franklin): Would require the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to issue an annual report about flooding and stream restoration.

Questions about this or any legislative issue may be directed to Armanini’s DuBois office at 1-814-375-4688 or his St Marys office at 1-814-781-6301.

 

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Punxsutawney, PA – Rep. Brian Smith (R-Jefferson/Indiana) announced that he is prime sponsoring legislation to eliminate permitting requirements from stream maintenance activities conducted 50 feet or less upstream or downstream from a bridge or culvert (House Bill 2410).

“Any time disaster strikes, our local officials understand exactly what needs to be done to protect citizens and property,” said Smith. “If enacted, my legislation would actively ensure that navigating through an endless storm of unnecessary, time-wasting, resource-consuming permitting requirements is no longer on the radar screen of our dedicated local government leaders when completing stream maintenance.”

Smith’s legislation is one of eight bills contained in the comprehensive stream maintenance and flood damage prevention package which also includes:

House Bill 2404 (Rep. Clint Owlett R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter): Would allow local government organizations to apply for a permit for continuing maintenance for a period of at least 10 years for the streams within their jurisdiction. This permit would grant an affirmative duty to the local government entity to properly maintain the streams and would not require the local government to get pre-approval for maintenance projects.

House Bill 2405 (Rep. Tina Pickett, R-Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna): Would create a program that allows counties to opt in to address hazards within their streams by allowing for emergency maintenance permits in consultation with their county conservation district. This is modeled after a pilot project that has proven successful in Bradford County

House Bill 2406 (Rep. Jonathan Fritz, R-Susquehanna/Wayne): Would create a permit specific to smaller maintenance projects for the mitigation of flood-related hazards of less than 250 linear feet. This permit would be reviewed and issued by the local county conservation district.

House Bill 2407 (Rep. Joe Hamm, R-Lycoming/Union): Would clarify that the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has no authority for permitting or enforcement related to stream clearing or maintenance activities. This authority shall belong solely to DEP and the county conservation districts as appropriate.

House Bill 2408 (Rep. Mike Armanini, R-Clearfield/Elk): Would declare that no permit or authorization shall be required for maintenance activities conducted on a culvert.

House Bill 2409 (Rep. Tim O’Neal, R-Washington): Would state that no permit shall be required for the removal of flood-related hazards from streams that are deemed to be an emergency by a state or county.

House Bill 2411 (Rep. John Hershey, R-Mifflin/Juniata/Franklin): Would require DEP to issue an annual report to the General Assembly regarding flooding and stream maintenance and restoration.

The 66th Legislative District includes all of Jefferson County and the Indiana County communities of Banks, Canoe, East Mahoning, Grant, Green, Montgomery, North Mahoning, Rayne, South Mahoning and West Mahoning townships and Cherry Tree, Ernest, Glen Campbell, Marion Center, Plumville and Smicksburg boroughs.