The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is urging state lawmakers to pass two bills –both in house and senate– which they say would allow the local economy to grow faster.
It’s called the Endangered Species Coordination Act.
What the PA Chamber wants to do is realign the management between species protection and economic development.
And, it affects more people than you may think.
“If you’re disturbing land, if you’re moving dirt this is an issue,” says PA Chamber Director of Government Affairs, Shawn Good.
Good says people trying to build have to go through a long and expensive process to make sure they’re not hurting any endangered animals in Pennsylvania.
“Some of the cost related to the current species evaluation process can run to hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars,” says Good.
According to the bill’s co-sponsor, Representative Jeffrey Pyle says the law would standardize the state process for listing threatened or endangered species.
But Representative Patty Kim says the state shouldn’t leave this controversial issue up to lawmakers to decide.
“Our natural environment is so sensitive that we need the people who are out on a regular basis seeing the highs and lows and just the whole cycle,” says Rep. Patty Kim.
Groups like the Sierra Club and the PA Federation of Sportmen are opposed to the bills.
Farmers and construction companies are urging lawmakers to pass both the House and Senate versions.
“I understand that we need economic development, I understand that we need more revenue but we have to be more careful with our natural resources because once we lose it, they’re gone forever,” say Rep. Kim.