The following is from an email sent out by the Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited
Dear Pennsylvania TU Member,
House Bill 1565-a bill that would remove the currently required riparian buffer requirements for special protection waters-was voted out of the Environmental Resources & Energy committee on Monday, September 15, and is awaiting a vote on the House floor in the very near future.
We need you take action TODAY to protect Pennsylvania’s trout streams.
Here is why HB1565 doesn’t make sense:
- Riparian buffer zones of native vegetation are the most effective tool-in terms of management and cost-to prevent accelerated erosion and sedimentation, protect water quality through filtering pollution, reduce the severity of flooding, and provide important habitat for wildlife.
- Weakening the existing regulatory requirements would have a negative impact on water quality, communities who rely on buffers to slow flood waters, and fish and wildlife habitat.
- As amended, HB1565 would allow a project to destroy riparian buffers in one part of the watershed, and build new buffers elsewhere in the watershed. Unfortunately, this amendment doesn’t factor into account the site-specific benefits that buffers provide-leaving the stream where the buffer was removed without the pollution filtering, shade and flood control capabilities.
- Sedimentation continues to be one of the greatest sources of pollution to Pennsylvania’s streams. Riparian buffers are critical for intercepting precipitation, and slowing the flow of runoff into stream channels-ultimately reducing the erosive forces acting on the stream bed and banks. And the root systems of native plants help to stabilize stream banks, thereby reducing bank erosion. Less erosion also means less sediment deposited in the stream channel downstream, when the current slows.
Please contact your Representative today, and tell him or her that House Bill 1565 is bad for Pennsylvania’s sportsmen and women, bad for communities and property owners, and it will remove important protections for the commonwealth’s fish and wildlife.
To learn more about why House Bill 1565 is a bad idea for Pennsylvania, please check out the PATU website.
Thank you for all you do to protect wild and native trout,
President, Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited
Eastern Water Project Director