Causer Continues Push for Efficient Removal of Small Stream Flood Hazards

PA State Rep. Martin Causer

PA State Rep. Martin Causer

HARRISBURG – Citing the inefficient and cumbersome process communities must endure when trying to remove potential flood hazards from small streams, Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) has introduced legislation to force the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to streamline its process.

“Stream obstructions, such as gravel bars, are serious flood hazards and can threaten the lives and property of people living nearby,” Causer said. “This is a serious problem, and we need a clear, efficient and effective process to deal with it – now.”

During state House budget hearings earlier this year, Causer and several other lawmakers questioned DEP Secretary Michael Krancer extensively about the issue of gravel bars and the difficulty communities and property owners have when trying to address the hazard they create. Causer cited a situation in Emporium, Cameron County, where officials have been working for more than five years to gain approval to remove a gravel bar. The situation is still not resolved.

“The folks in Emporium just keep hitting one roadblock after another, and this is not an isolated case,” Causer said. “This is a frustrating situation for everyone involved, and we need to find a solution.”

The goal of House Bill 2359 is to create a clear and effective process to better manage stream obstruction problems without an unnecessary, complicated and expensive permitting process. The bill also includes measures to further expedite stream clearings when such activities are deemed to be an emergency by local, county or state authorities.

The bill is expected to be referred to the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.

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