Three bills supported by Pennsylvania Farm Bureau were approved by the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.
Senate Bill 832 would create a Clean Water Fund and includes money for the Agriculture Conservation Assistance Program. ACAP would expand opportunities for farmers to partner with conservation district staff in their communities on locally focused projects that protect natural resources and improve water quality. Funding would be distributed to county conservation districts throughout the commonwealth using a formula that benefits all parts of the state while directing additional resources to areas with the greatest opportunity for improvement. Conservation districts would then partner with farmers and landowners in their communities to complete the conservation projects.
SB 525 would create the Growing Greener III program and includes money for farmland preservation and Chesapeake Bay cleanup. The initiative addresses a backlog of projects at state parks and forests managed by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. It will provide one-time funding to assist with infrastructure improvement backlogs, work on Chesapeake Bay clean-up projects, and help to preserve more farmland.
SB 806 would require uniformity and transparency on royalty payments from natural gas companies to landowners. It would set a standard for every oil and gas company to be transparent in showing deductions on royalty payment checks, making it easier for property owners to see that deductions are being done in accordance with their lease.
The three bills now head to the Senate for further consideration.