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Administration Outlines Flood Prevention, Stream Quality Plans
Pennsylvania Ag Connection - 06/10/2019

Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Executive Deputy Secretary Ramez Ziadeh and Representative Mike Sturla (D-96th) joined community leaders at Groff Farm in West Lampeter Township to discuss how Restore Pennsylvania could enable floodplain restoration to prevent flooding and reduce pollution.

"With communities voicing the need for more flood prevention and over 19,000 miles of streams and rivers not meeting federal and state standards, projects like this are greatly needed across the state," said DEP Executive Deputy Secretary Ziadeh. "Restore Pennsylvania is the only solution for a challenge of this scale."

Restore Pennsylvania is an aggressive plan to address the commonwealth's vital infrastructure needs, including green infrastructure to prevent flooding and improve water quality at the stream, floodplain, and watershed levels. Guided by local feedback on the infrastructure needs of Pennsylvania's communities, Restore Pennsylvania legislation was introduced with strong bipartisan support yesterday.

"We are here today in part to underscore the need for careful stewardship of streams, farmland, roadways and other infrastructure imperatives here in Lancaster County and throughout the Commonwealth," said Rep. Mike Sturla. "But we're also here to stress that we can begin to meet our infrastructure challenges without continuing to ask individuals, farmers and local governments to foot the bill alone. We can do it, and Restore Pennsylvania is a smart and fair approach to problems that affect all Pennsylvanians and the communities in which they live."

West Lampeter Community Development Director Joellyn Warren outlined the planned floodplain restoration project, which will benefit both the township and the farm but is stalled by high cost. DEP wetland and stream expert Jeff Hartranft showed how the stream, which may appear healthy to the untrained eye, is in fact damaged by years of erosion. He discussed actions, including removing the dam and sediment buildup and planting native vegetation, that will reduce flooding, erosion, and pollution if the project is funded.

Restore Pennsylvania proposes a commonsense severance tax that would invest $4.5 billion over the next four years in significant high-impact projects throughout the commonwealth that would rebuild Pennsylvania's infrastructure and increase resources for blighted properties, Internet access, storm preparedness, water quality, and disaster recovery to help make Pennsylvania a leader in the 21st century.

Learn more about Restore Pennsylvania at governor.pa.gov/restore-pennsylvania

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