Are you following HB 1712 Private Dam Financial Assurance Program and making your wishes known to your state senators?
House Bill 1712: Private Dam Financial Assurance Program and the Private Dam Financial Assurance Fund passed the State House Feb. 8, 2016 (195-1).
It was referred to the PA Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee Feb. 12, 2016.
Early in 2014, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued new regulations requiring private dam owners to provide a mechanism for financial responsibility over their dams, in the event of a dam breach. The deadline for the financial responsibility tool was January 1, 2016. This new requirement was in addition to new registration and dam project fees in the thousands of dollars. For the many community associations throughout Pennsylvania like the SLCA that own a private dam, this meant that by January 1, 2016, the community needed to have surety or collateral bonds in place. SLCA at present does not have a request from DEP for the surety bond. This legislation recognizes that adequate insurance products are simply not available, requiring community associations in some cases to put up tens of thousands of dollars in bonds.
These “financial responsibility tools: are simply beyond the financial ability of many community associations who depend on their lakes for recreational amenities for owners and visitors alike. The SLCA has been very proactive in notifying our members about the new DEP regulations and the challenges we face. Ultimately, if SLCA is required to post a “financial responsibility tool” (a bond) that exceeds our funds, the responsibility and liability will then be imposed on each association member whose property touches the lake and all members whose property deeds convey them access to the private lake.
The Private Dam Financial Assurance Program also provides a loan program for private dam owners like SLCA to fund dam improvements.
House Bill 1712 would offer financial assurance for the owners of private dams to meet the financial obligations imposed under the Dam Safety and Encroachment Act.
This would be a VERY GOOD THING for Silver Lake.
You can sign up to receive legislative updates throught PALegis here – just specify the specific bill HB1712 in the profile: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/billInfo/billInfo.cfm?sYear=2015&sInd=0&body=H&type=B&bn=1712