HARRISBURG – Rep. Rosemary Brown’s (R-Monroe/Pike) legislation to create the Private Dam Financial Assurance Program was included in the 2018-19 fiscal code.
Through this self-funded program, a one-time $1,000 fee, and an annual fee of 1 percent of the bond amount required by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will be deposited into the fund. This will establish a revolving loan program to provide maintenance and repair assistance once the fund’s balance is equal to, or greater, than $1.5 million.
According to new DEP regulations, private dam owners are required to have a financial responsibility tool in place in the event their dam would need to be breached. Although this protects the state, it is not possible for many private dam owners to obtain these extremely costly bonds based on the makeup of their organizations, which often include homeowners’ associations (HOAs). And oftentimes, financial institutions do not consider these organizations to be stable enough to receive bond coverage.
“I have been working with private dam owners from across the state, DEP officials and other related departments for the last two years to gain a full understanding of the issue and develop solutions to comply with regulations,” Brown explained. “This legislation, House Bill 431
, provides financial assurance for the private dam owners so they can meet the financial obligations imposed under the Dam Safety and Encroachment Act and makes it financially more manageable for the private dam owners. We want to maintain the beautiful lakes we have.”
Participants in this program will be required to be in compliance with related DEP regulations and inspections, including a current approved emergency action plan.
For more information about this legislation, or any state-related issue, contact Brown’s district office in East Stroudsburg located at 143 Seven Bridge Road, by calling 570-420-8301. Information can also be found on online at RepBrown.com
Representative Rosemary M. Brown
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Krisinda Corbin