Environment & Energy Bills Signed Into Law, Vetoed In 2020

2020 was marked more by what didn’t happen on environment and energy legislation than what was actually passed by the Senate and House and signed into law by Gov. Wolf.   Here’s a rundown on what happened.


Gov. Wolf vetoed these environmental bills in 2020--

-- Blocking Environmental Regulations: Senate Bill 327 (Argall-R- Schuylkill), which contains a provision that would stop any proposed or final environmental or other state agency regulation from being finalized during the COVID-19 emergency (House Fiscal Note & Summary).  The Governor’s Veto message.

-- Kill Carbon Pollution Reduction Program: House Bill 2025 (Struzzi-R-Indiana) eliminating DEP’s authority to adopt a Carbon Pollution Reduction Program for power plants.  The Governor’s Veto message. Read More Here.

-- Weakening Conventional Drilling Environmental Protections: Senate Bill 790 (Scarnati-R-Jefferson) that would significantly reduce requirements for protecting the environment from conventional oil and gas drilling. The Governor’s Veto messageRead more here.

-- Encouraging Use Of Natural Gas: House Bill 1100 (Kaufer-R-Luzerne) which would provide unlimited taxpayer-funded subsidies of natural gas use in manufacturing through a new tax credit. The Governor’s Veto messageRead more here. [Note: Replaced by House Bill 732 signed into law.]

-- Land Bank Environmental Liability: House Bill 1737 (Gleim-R-Cumberland) originally provided protection from environmental liability for land banks as they redevelop properties, however, it was amended in the Senate to add provisions protecting businesses, schools, health care providers and others who follow state and federal COVID health directives from lawsuits for actions they take during the pandemic (House Fiscal Note & Summary). The Governor’s Veto message. Read more here.

Signed Into Law

Gov. Wolf signed these environmental bills into law in 2020.

-- State Game Lands: House Bill 752 (Turzai-R-Allegheny) eliminating the cap on the purchase of State Game Lands in Allegheny County (Senate Fiscal Note & Summary).

-- On-Lot Septic Systems: Senate Bill 1030 (Yaw-R-Lycoming)-- to allow for the expanded use of alternate on-lot sewage systems for planning purposes (Senate Fiscal Note & Summary).  Read more here.

-- Fiscal Code: House Bill 1083 (Sankey-R- Clearfield) providing for a continued ban on local ordinances banning single-use plastic bags and containers, transfers to and from the Marcellus Legacy Fund, Environmental Stewardship Fund, Hazardous Sites Cleanup Fund and other provisions (Senate Fiscal Note & Summary). Read more here.

-- Fish & Boat Fees: House Bill 808 (Mehaffie-R- Dauphin) authorizing the Fish and Boat Commission to adopt its own fees beginning July 1, 2021 until July 15, 2025 (House Fiscal Note & Summary).

-- Low-Head Dam Safety: House Bill 1003 (Gillespie-R-York) further providing for marking and safety at low-head dams  and reported out of the Senate Appropriations Committee (House Fiscal Note & Summary).

-- Ohiopyle Land Exchange: House Bill 2045 (Dowling-R-Fayette) providing for a land exchange between Ohiopyle Borough and Ohiopyle State Parks (House Fiscal Note & Summary).

-- Encouraging Use Of Natural Gas: House Bill 732 (Kaufer-R-Luzerne) was amended  to add a provision to establish a tax credit to encourage the use of natural gas in manufacturing fertilizer (House Fiscal Note & Summary).  Read more here.

-- ‘Look But Don’t Touch’ Pipeline Planning: House Bill 2293 (Quinn-R-Delaware) that requires pipeline companies to make emergency response plans available to the Public Utility Commission, the PA Emergency Management Agency and county emergency management director where the pipeline is located, but does not allow them to change or point out deficiencies in the plan. Read more here.

-- Plastics To Fuel: House Bill 1808 (Mackenzie-R-Lehigh) further provides for the recycling of plastics by making it into fuel. Read more here.

-- Fiscal Code: House Bill 2536 (James-R-Venango) amendments to Fiscal Code to accompany the FY 2020-21 budget transferring $201,977,000 from dedicated environment and energy funds to balance the state budget and making other changes (Senate Fiscal Note & Summary). Read more here.

With the end of the 2019-20 legislation session November 30, all bills not passed and sent to the Governor die and have to start all over again in the new session starting in January.

2020 In Review:

-- 90% Of PA Voters Want Senate, House To Provide More Funding For Critical Environmental, Conservation Programs; That Didn’t Happen In 2020

-- This NICE List Of Good Environment & Energy Bills We Hope Will Be Back Next Year

-- This NAUGHTY List Of Bad Environment & Energy Bills Will Be Back Again Next Year

[Posted: December 3, 2020]


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