Senate Committees Hold Public Hearing on
Endangered and Threatened Species
14, 2014- Hanson Quickel
HARRISBURG – The Senate Game and Fisheries
Committee and Senate Majority Policy Committee, on Friday, held a public
hearing to examine Pennsylvania laws pertaining to endangered and threatened
Joe Scarnati (R-25) and Senator Richard Alloway (R-33) explained that the
purpose of the informational hearing was to receive testimony on the Threatened
and Endangered Species legislation that has been proposed.
Bill 1047 was introduced by Senator Scarnati last year and would establish the
Endangered Species Coordination Act.
hearing, which took place at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, included
testifiers from the Pennsylvania Game Commission, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat
Commission, PA Chamber of Business and Industry and the PA Builders Association.
federal government has effectively protected threatened species for over 100
years,” Senator Scarnati stated. “However, currently in Pennsylvania our state agencies do not coordinate
their efforts with federal rules and regulations. Senate Bill 1047 takes an important step to
create a greater level of accountability and transparency regarding the
classification of endangered species in our Commonwealth.”
would also require the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the Pennsylvania Fish and
Boat Commission to submit proposed designations to the Independent Regulatory
Review Commission (IRRC). IRRC already reviews regulations from every other
state agency, including endangered species designations made by the Department
of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and most stream designations made
by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
noted that in addition, DCNR will be required to maintain a centralized
database containing a list of all designated species and critical habitats
within the Commonwealth.
at the Senate Game & Fisheries Committee hearing did a thorough job of
explaining to the Committee how the Endangered Species bill would impact their
agencies and businesses,” Senator Alloway stated. “Information presented will be closely
reviewed and analyzed before a Committee vote is scheduled.”
Alloway noted that last November the House Game and Fisheries Committee voted
to pass House Bill 1576, the companion bill to Senate Bill 1047.
expect that state government operates in an efficient manner,” Senator Scarnati
stated. “Our goal is that Pennsylvania
maintains a universal standard of protection for our fish, wildlife and plants,
without unduly harming our businesses and employers who provide family
sustaining jobs in the Commonwealth.”