State Sen. Gene Yaw (PA-23) last week was reappointed to serve as chairman of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee for the 2023-24 legislative session. Yaw has served as chairman of the committee since 2013, and was reappointed to the post by Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward (R-39).
Yaw also has been appointed to serve as a member of the Judiciary Committee as vice chairman; and as a member of the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee; Banking and Insurance Committee; Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee; and Rules and Executive Nominations Committee.
The Environmental Resources and Energy Committee has broad jurisdiction over the state’s energy resources and development, including regulations and conservation efforts; initiatives related to public lands and their renewable resources; policies affecting surface mining, coal, oil, and gas, and mineral leasing; and broad oversight of air and water resources.
“I thank Senator Ward for her trust to again lead this important committee in the new session,” Yaw said. “I look forward to working with my fellow senators to advance bipartisan solutions to strengthen our laws and regulations to further protect Pennsylvania’s natural resources for future generations.”
“I am pleased to appoint Senator Yaw to continue to serve as chairman of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee for the 2023-24 legislative session,” Ward said. “I am confident that in this role he will continue to provide the committee with strong leadership and be a champion for advancing important environmental protection measures.”
Some of Yaw’s environmental accomplishments during the previous session include adoption of the following bills:
- Senate Bill 832 (Act 54 – Fiscal Code): The Clean Streams Fund, which Yaw prime sponsored jointly with Sen. Scott Martin (R-13) and Sen. Dan Laughlin (R-49), invested $220 million to clean rivers and streams damaged by decades of non-point source pollution, including agricultural runoff, abandoned mine drainage and stormwater management in developed areas.
- Senate Bill 465 (Act 54 – Fiscal Code): Yaw sponsored this bill to establish an Agricultural Conservation Grant Assistance Program to help farmers overcome barriers to reducing pollution of nearby streams and waterways.
- Senate Bill 251 (Act 83): Yaw sponsored this bill to set clear standards for fertilizer application to turf and modernizes the state’s existing program to ensure proper testing and labeling of fertilizer products. It also directs the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to establish a new agricultural and homeowner education program to inform the public about best practices for the application of fertilizer.
- Senate Bill 806 (Act 153): Yaw sponsored this bill to ensure landowners are afforded a clear and distinct assessment of royalties paid to them through lease agreements with oil and natural gas operators. The new law also will provide for summary statements if a landowner chooses to receive one, as well as timely payment requirements.
- Senate Bill 420 (Act 88): The District Attorney Modernization Act, which Yaw sponsored, clarifies procedures for when a district attorney’s law license is suspended or they are disbarred.
Yaw also began work on pressing legislative issues that will continue in the new year, including plans to increase the fines and penalties for those who vandalize or cause destruction of any part of Pennsylvania’s power grid and incorporating renewable natural gas into the Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant Program.
In addition to Yaw’s role as committee chairman, he also will continue to serve as one of 21 members of the tri-state Chesapeake Bay Commission, and as chairman of the Board for the Center for Rural Pennsylvania, a bipartisan, bicameral legislative research agency of the General Assembly.
For more state-related news and information, constituents can visit Yaw’s website at www.SenatorGeneYaw.com or follow him on Facebook and Twitter @SenatorGeneYaw.