– Seeking to give local governments in Pennsylvania greater control over stream improvement projects to preserve infrastructure and prevent flooding, Rep. Tina Pickett (R-Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna) is sponsoring legislation that would expand a program statewide that allows for emergency permits to address waterway hazards.
The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) created the Bradford County Stream Initiative Program, which gave the Bradford County Conservation District the ability to authorize stream reconstruction projects under a special emergency permit. The authorized work includes stream bank stabilization and the removal of debris and accumulated sediment from stream channels beyond the normal maintenance area.
“This pilot program in Bradford County was developed to bring the authority over waterway maintenance to a more local level instead of relying on DEP staff who are unlikely to live in the area or understand the unique nature of the situation,” said Pickett. “Our goal through this legislation is to give community officials the authority to resolve any stream issues that may threaten lives and property.”
Pickett’s bill would enable all counties and conservation districts throughout the Commonwealth to authorize emergency permits to assist with stream maintenance via a notification to DEP and following a required training period.
In December, Pickett joined other lawmakers at a hearing in Tioga County conducted by the House Majority Policy Committee regarding the challenges faced by local government officials in addressing stream maintenance issues. Her legislation is included in an eight-bill package resulting from testimony gathered at the hearing that will soon be introduced in the House of Representatives.
Representative Tina Pickett
110th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Andy Briggs
RepPickett.com / Facebook.com/RepPickett