PMAA is Always Advocating for You!
With the demands on Pennsylvania municipal authorities today, we know you don’t have time to follow all the happenings at the Capitol in Harrisburg.
PMAA tracks hundreds of bills each legislative session that have the potential to impact you! Every week, PMAA will publish a legislative Bill Tracker watchlist so our members can stay up to date on bills moving through the legislative process. Click the buttons below for more information that is taking place on the Hill.
Updated: August 1, 2022
2022 HOUSE SESSION SCHEDULE
September: 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21
October: 24, 25, 26
November: 14, 15, 16
2022 SENATE SESSION SCHEDULE
September: 19, 20, 21
October: 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26
Recent Legislative Activity (click on the bill number for more details and bill status):
HB 2104 (Representative Kathy Rapp - Crawford, Forest, and Warren Counties) amends Title 27 to provide for the bonding and decommissioning of alternative energy facilities. In particular, it provides for a phased bonding scheme for solar and wind energy facilities so that the cost and means to decommission will be continually assessed and supplied over the life of the project.
HB 2148 (Representative Brett Miller - Lancaster County) amends Titles 45 (Legal Notices) and 65 (Public Officials) by protecting municipal authorities and local governments from liability should a newspaper fail to publish their properly submitted public notice.
HB 2153 introduced by Representative Karen Boback (Luzerne County) establishing a Municipal Storm Water Assistance Program overseen by DEP that would provide direct funding towards municipal authorities, counties, and municipalities to plan and implement projects as required by the MS4 mandate.
HB 2331 (Representative Barbara Gleim - Cumberland County) introduced by Representative Barbara Gleim (Cumberland County) amending the Storm Water Management Act requiring annual active water quality testing of all waterways identified as in need of a watershed stormwater plan.
HB 2524 (Representative Lou Schmitt – Blair County) amends the Right-to-Know Law, including requiring agencies to register open records officer contact information with the Office of Open Records, permitting agencies to ask requesters whether records will be used for commercial purposes, permitting to assess reasonable, standard fees for commercial requests with an exception for media requests, and other provisions.
PMAA and the other local government associations oppose the bill. Click here for the Associations’ letter of opposition. On June 23, 2022 the Senate State Government Committee held a public hearing on the bill and several others which amend the Right-to-Know Law.
SB 302 (Senator Gene Yaw - Bradford, Lycoming, Sullivan, Susquehanna, and Union Counties) the Firefighting Foam Management Act establishes that no person or firefighting entity and neither the commonwealth nor a municipality may discharge or otherwise use a class B firefighting foam that contains a per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) chemical for testing or training with certain exceptions beginning July 1, 2023.
SB 492 Senator Doug Mastriano (Adams, Cumberland, Franklin, and York Counties) amends the Right-to-Know Law, establishing definitions for commercial purpose, inmates and time response log, and updating definitions of independent agency, local agency, and personal financial information. In addition, an agency shall register its open-records officer with the Office of Open Records in a manner prescribed by the Office of Open Records, along with provisions regarding regulations and policies, uniform form, requests and retention of records.
SB 597 (Senator Patrick Stefano – Fayette, Somerset, Westmoreland Counties)
Amends Title 27 (Environmental Resources) which requires community water and wastewater systems of 751 or more connections to submit an asset management plan to DEP for review and approval. It also provides for critical valve inspections and repair, meter testing protocol, lead line replacement plan, development of a cybersecurity system, annual information to customers, regulations, contingency for public funding and enforcement.
In May of 2021, PMAA opposed the bill when the bill was amended which placed any water and wastewater system that was not in compliance with the requirements in the bill under the PA Public Utility Commission. Click here for PMAA’s letter of opposition.
In April of 2022, PMAA was successful in having the bill amended, most significantly having the PUC provision removed and replacing it with DEP.
Click here for PMAA’s memo to the full Senate on April 11th with details on the floor amendments and PMAA’s position. PMAA appreciates the progress made thus far; however, we still have many overarching concerns, and we look forward to continuing negotiations throughout the legislative process. The bill passed the Senate on June 7, 2022 with a vote of 27 to 23. On June 14, 2022 the bill moved to the House and was referred to the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.
On August 2, 2022, PMAA will be testifying at an informational meeting before the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee on SB 597.
SR 146 Representative Ryan Aument (Lancaster County) directs the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee (LBFC) to conduct a study of the current limitations on liability under 42 Pa.C.S. § 8528 (Pennsylvania’s Sovereign and Governmental Immunity law) and issue a report of its findings and recommendations to the Senate. This passed the Senate unanimously June 25, 2021. The LBFC released the report which was approved by the Joint Legislative Budget and Finance Committee on June 22, 2022. Click here for the report on the Limitations on Liability Under Pennsylvania's Sovereign and Governmental Immunity Laws Conducted Pursuant to Senate Resolution 2021-146 (see starting at page S-3 and starting at page 21).
PMAA Testifies at House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee Meeting on MS4 (Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems) Compliance
PMAA member from Derry Township Municipal Authority (DTMA), Sarah Ryan testified at the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee public hearing on Monday, June 13, 2022. Ryan, DTMA’s Stormwater Program Manager presented how the authority has implemented their stormwater program and addressed the many issues and challenges with MS4 compliance.
The hearing’s focus was MS4 compliance within PA, particularly, how MS4 compliance efforts have advanced over the last year, means of raising revenue to comply, any benefits or negative impacts from the mandate, and the reliability of the models being used to direct MS4 decisions across the state.
In addition, two recently introduced stormwater bills were discussed at the hearing:
HB 2153 introduced by Representative Karen Boback (Luzerne County) establishing a Municipal Storm Water Assistance Program overseen by DEP that would provide direct funding towards municipal authorities, counties, and municipalities to plan, and implement projects as required by the MS4 mandate. HB 2331 introduced by Representative Barbara Gleim (Cumberland County) amending the Storm Water Management Act requires annual active water quality testing of all waterways identified as in need of a watershed stormwater plan.
Thank you to DTMA Stormwater Program Manager, Sarah Ryan for testifying on behalf of PMAA.
Water Well Licensing proposal supported by PMAA with other members of the Water Utility Council of AWWA - Click here for support letter.
PMAA signs joint letter calling on Governor’s PFAS Action Team to implement recommendations in their initial report relating to class B firefighting foam. Read more>>
Aqua Pennsylvania Files Rate Request Based on Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Repairs and Improvements Statewide. Read more>>
Sunshine Act amended. Read more>>
Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) Grant Application Guidance and Instructions Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2021. Available September 30, 2021. The first grant is called the Building Resilient Infrastructure & Communities (BRIC); this grant has $1 BILLION to be competitively applied for (minus tribal and state set-asides). Additionally, the Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) grant will have $160 million available in this year’s national application competition. Read more>>
Governor Wolf Announces $97 Million Investment in Clean, Lead-Free Water Infrastructure Projects in 19 Counties. Read more>>