Important Environmental Bills on the Docket in PA

From PennFuture (


The General Assembly will have a full plate of environment and clean energy bills when it returns in September. One piece of pressing business such is the severance tax that awaits legislators, but here are some other important bills on the docket:


Green building standards for state buildings: Two bills that require high-performance green building standards for many state-owned buildings are waiting for the full Senate to vote, after the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee approved them in June. HB 444 ( is sponsored by Representative Matt Smith (D-Allegheny) and SB 728 ( is sponsored by Senator John Rafferty (R-Montgomery). PennFuture and the state’s green building organizations want to make sure the bills also include public schools when they pass the full Senate this fall.


Freeze on further state forest drilling leases
Two bills to
Save Our Forests ( are waiting for the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee to act. The bills are HB 2235 (, passed in the House by a strong, bipartisan 157-33 vote on May 4, and Senator Daylin Leach’s (D-Montgomery) SB 1420 ( Both bills freeze new deep natural gas leases in our state forests for three years, and require an environmental impact study of drilling in the forest before more leasing can occur.


Stormwater management bill needs a surge

Representative Bob Freeman’s (D-Northampton) comprehensive stormwater bill has been left high and dry since being approved by the House Local Government Committee last December. HB 1390 ( requires local governments to address existing stormwater problems and to plan to avoid new problems. Senator Ted Erickson (R-Delaware) has introduced companion legislation as SB 524 (

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