HARRISBURG – The state Senate has approved legislation seeking to limit the financial burden placed on private individuals helping to minimize coastal erosion on Lake Erie, said bill sponsor, Sen. Dan Laughlin (R-49).
“Erie County residents and visitors are fortunate to have quick access to the beautiful coast of Lake Erie as well as Presque Isle State Park, but there’s a lot that goes into protecting the coastline from erosion,” said Laughlin. “To help preserve the shoreline, structures called ‘groins’ are used to stabilize stretches of the beach against erosion.”
However, private individuals who own groin structures must pay fees to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), with the fee skyrocketing from $25 to $750 annually. DEP and other government entities that own and operate groins are exempt from the fee.
“Since ‘groins’ are not defined in Pennsylvania statute, my legislation, Senate Bill 382, would add a definition to current law as well as cap what is now an excessive fee for private individuals,” Laughlin explained. “While I had hoped to offer private individuals a full exemption to the DEP-charged license fee, a compromise to cap the fee at $250 was necessary to advance the legislation.”
“We should be doing what we can to encourage private individuals to help with the protection of our precious natural resources, not making them pay exorbitant fees the government has exempted itself from paying,” said Laughlin.
SB 382 now heads to the state House of Representatives for consideration.
A video of Sen. Laughlin’s floor remarks regarding the legislation can be viewed here.
For more state-related news and information, constituents can visit Laughlin’s website at www.senatorlaughlin.com or follow him on Facebook and Twitter @senatorlaughlin.
Contact: David Kozak 717-787-8927