A Note From Board Member Kate Harper on the Environmental Stewardship FundNovember 19, 2020
When I was a Republican House Member in 2002, we enacted my proposal for “Making Trash Pay for the Environment”, and imposed a tipping fee on landfills to pay for the Environmental Stewardship Fund. The waste industry told us that the cost would be paid by their customers including our constituents in their trash bills. We understood and our constituents understood that using money generated this way to improve and sustain PA’s environment was a logical nexus and something they supported. I received absolutely NO negative feedback after we enacted the bill.
If the Legislature raids the Environmental Stewardship Fund for General Fund appropriations, we are breaking the promises made when that tax was enacted. Worse yet, we are legitimizing the fears of the waste industry at that time–that they were being unfairly singled out to fund the Budget. As they are an essential industry, and employ many Pennsylvanians, to do this now is the wrong strategy for balancing the Budget.
Pennsylvanians care about Penn’s Woods and the environment in a nonpartisan way. Penn’s Woods should always have funding and that’s what a dedicated funding stream to the Environmental Stewardship Fund and Keystone Recreation Fund exists to ensure.