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Pickett Supports Bill to Allow Communities to Address Flooding Hazards from Small Waterways
HARRISBURG – As a way to prevent future flooding, Rep. Tina Pickett (R-Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna) voted this week to advance legislation to help speed up the process to remove gravel bars and other obstructions from small waterways.

“Many municipalities have found themselves waiting long periods of time for the state Department of Environmental Protection to act on removing gravel bars and other obstructions from streams,” Pickett said. “As a result of this lengthy delay, communities like those along the Northern Tier are faced with potential flood hazards. This legislation was designed to create a streamlined approach and find solutions so that these obstructions are removed in a timely manner.”

Under this legislation, stream obstructions would include a gravel bar, flood debris or similar obstruction which may present a substantial potential risk to life or property, or may create additional problems in the event of flooding.

“Last fall’s flooding caused considerable damage in many areas of the state, including Bradford, Sullivan and Susquehanna counties, and some of this may have been prevented had these obstructions been removed,” Pickett said. “Until these obstructions are removed, the potential for flooding still exists.”

House Bill 2359, which Pickett co-sponsored, is intended to put in place a clear, efficient and effective process to better manage stream obstruction problems without an unnecessary, complicated and expensive permitting process. The bill also includes measures to further expedite stream clearings when such activities are deemed to be an emergency by local, county or state authorities.

Only those people who own adjacent property or municipalities may clear the hazards, and the state’s Environmental Quality Board will establish appropriate guidelines for removal.

The legislation now moves to the state Senate for consideration.

State Representative Tina Pickett
110th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Jennifer Keaton
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