For Immediate Release: June 15, 2011
Renew Growing Greener Coalition Applauds Rep. Quinn for Including Funding for Environment in Impact Fee Legislation
(HARRISBURG, PA) The Renew Growing Greener Coalition today commended State Rep. Marguerite Quinn (R-Bucks) for proposing local impact fee legislation (HB1700) that includes funding for the state’s Growing Greener program through the Environmental Stewardship Fund. Coalition Executive Director Andrew Heath issued the following statement:
“The Renew Growing Greener Coalition is pleased with legislation proposed by Representative Quinn that provides dedicated funding for the state’s Growing Greener program through the Environmental Stewardship Fund and also takes care of our conservation districts, which are our first line of defense for our waterways.
“Representative Quinn’s legislation gets back to basics and is a simple, common sense approach to addressing the impact of the natural gas industry on local communities and our natural resources.
“By establishing a fair and reasonable fee based on well construction rather than production or market rates, Representative Quinn has put forth a plan that we believe the Governor can support while keeping his promise not to raise taxes.
“The Renew Growing Greener Coalition supports Representative Quinn’s efforts to restore funding to protect and preserve our environment for future generations.”
Growing Greener is a bipartisan program established in 1999 under Governor Tom Ridge and later expanded by Governors Schweiker and Rendell. Since its establishment, Growing Greener has created a legacy of success, preserving more than 33,700 acres of Pennsylvania’s family farmland, conserving more than 42,300 acres of threatened open space, adding 26,000 acres to state parks and forests, and restoring over 16,000 acres of abandoned mine lands.
In 2002, a dedicated source of revenue for Growing Greener was identified in an increase in the state’s “tipping fee,” the fee charged for dumping trash in Pennsylvania’s landfills. Those funds were supplemented by a $625 million bond approved by voters in 2005, called Growing Greener II. Unless action is taken, those funds will be largely exhausted as of June 30th, with most of the Growing Greener I tipping fees going to the debt service on the Growing Greener II bonds.
More than 80 Pennsylvania municipalities and counties have passed resolutions urging the Governor and legislature to renew Growing Greener funding. Counties passing resolutions include: Blair, Cambria, Erie, Fayette, Greene, Indiana Lackawanna, Lawrence, Lehigh, Luzerne, Lycoming, Monroe, Philadelphia, Pike, Somerset, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Washington, Westmoreland, Wyoming and York.
The Renew Growing Greener Coalition is the Commonwealth’s largest coalition of conservation, recreation and environmental organizations representing nearly 300 organizations and government entities. For more information on the Coalition, visit www.RenewGrowingGreener.org.