Contact Information 

District Offices
Tiadaghton Valley Mall
Room 105
701 Allegheny Street, Box 4
Jersey Shore, PA 17740
(570) 398-4476

Closed for lunch: 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Tuesdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Thursdays 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Closed Monday, Wednesday and Friday

Penn Hills Plaza, Halls Station
21 Kristi Road
Suite 1
Muncy, PA 17756
(570) 546-2084

Closed for lunch: 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Monday through Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Capitol Office
Hon. Garth Everett
401 Irvis Office Building
PO Box 202084
Harrisburg PA 17120-2084
(717) 787-5270
Fax: (717) 772-9958

E-Mail:  
geverett@pahousegop.com

Everett Urges Action to Establish a State Disaster Assistance Fund
9/27/2011
HARRISBURG -- After participating in a joint hearing of the Senate and House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness committees in Harrisburg Tuesday, Rep. Garth Everett (R-Lycoming), a member of the House committee, urged the Legislature and Gov. Tom Corbett to take swift action to establish a Commonwealth Disaster Assistance Fund.

In addition, Everett seeks to amend Department of Environmental Protection regulations to allow municipalities to remove stream impediments resulting from high-water events without the need for permits, and to fund efforts to remove stream impediments and perform stream bank restoration and stabilization.

“The severe weather events of the summer have pointed out the strong need for such a fund, and many who testified at the hearing echoed that need,” said Everett. “The damage that was wrought by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee in many parts of the Commonwealth put stress on local budgets, many to the breaking point.”

Everett said there are three separate but interrelated issues that need attention. They include: 

        • Establishing a Commonwealth Disaster Assistance Fund to supplement what the 
          federal fund does, and to assist in smaller disaster situations that do not qualify for 
          federal funds. 
        • Allowing municipalities to get into streams after a high-water event to remove rock 
          bars, trees and other impediments and do bank repairs as necessary so that 
          subsequent high-water events are not exacerbated. 
        • Allowing municipalities and private individuals who live along streams to take 
          preventive action to clean out stream channels, restore and stabilize banks to lessen 
          future flood damage and make funding available to perform the preventive actions.

In testimony provided by Glenn Cannon, director of Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, and Dave Sanko, director of the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors, 25 other states already have state funded disaster assistance programs in place. Everett said cooperation and coordination between all governmental entities is needed.

“One thing we cannot do is to continue to do nothing about dealing with, preventing and mitigating these flooding incidents,” said Everett. “DEP’s policy of leaving streams alone to find their own ‘natural course’ is obviously not working. We need to actively manage the courses and beds of our creeks so they can flow freely and stay within the confines of their historical pathways.”

“We are losing valuable farmland, homes, roads and even bridges because of DEP’s ‘hands off’ policy and the excessive red tape and engineering costs currently required to get permits to work on streams. Most of this is just common sense. You do not need a hydrological engineer, a bunch of bureaucrats and 10 pounds of plans and forms to tell you that you need to remove rock bars and trees and strengthen banks to keep streams flowing the way they are supposed to,” he said.

“I encourage Senator Lisa Baker and Representative Steve Barrar, who chair the Senate and House committees respectively, to work with DEP Secretary Mike Krancer and Governor Corbett’s staff and move the necessary legislation in the next few weeks,” concluded Everett. “We have talked about these problems long enough; it is now time to act.”


State Representative Garth Everett
84th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives 
RepEverett.com
Contact: Raymond Smith
rsmith@pahousegop.com
717.705.1834
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