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Pennsylvania Chapter of APA Policy Statement on Pollution Control

Issue

Unhealthy activities continue to plague the Commonwealth.

Significant progress has been made in air and water pollution but ozone and suspended particulate matter are still too high. Emissions of toxic substances into air and water remain high – air quality decreased by increased vehicle emissions as we travel longer distances to work. Greenhouse gas emissions rise seemingly inexorably. Human health problems increase, especially respiratory disorders, while obesity and diabetes rates rise partly because exercising falls off.

Population growth and the ubiquity of packaged items have created unprecedented amounts of trash to store or recycle. Our per capita waste production is increasing and we lead the nation in the amount trash received from other states.

Polluted sites are being cleaned up steadily, recycling rates have improved. However, the costs of disposing of municipal solid waste continue to rise in the face of concerns about air and groundwater pollution, opposition to facility locations, as well as Federal and state regulations.

Many streams are in poor condition and, while the amount of forested land is increasing, farmland is decreasing.

Vision

Realize a Pennsylvania in which intra- and inter-state partnerships, featuring broad public participation, foster cooperation between governments at all levels to coordinate local, county, regional and statewide planning that identifies the best management practices and safest solutions to pollution prevention or control.

Supported Actions
  • Pennsylvania Chapter of APA supports managing solid wastes in a hierarchy that emphasizes reduction first; then recycling; compaction or composting; energy recovery; and, as a last resort, safely depositing in landfills.
  • Pennsylvania Chapter of APA supports the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Land Recycling Program that seeks to reclaim and redevelop abandoned industrial and commercial sites, and urges all local and regional governments to direct resources towards “brownfield” redevelopment.
  • Pennsylvania Chapter of APA supports “growing greener” initiatives, regionally or statewide, that use bonds to raise funds for the restoration and conservation of our sensitive environmental areas.
  • Pennsylvania Chapter of APA supports, at all appropriate governmental levels, laws requiring source reduction and providing incentives for the use of reusable products and refillable packaging.
  • Pennsylvania Chapter of APA supports resource recovery programs that produce soil additives or mulch from yard debris and organic waste.
  • Pennsylvania Chapter of APA supports mandatory public education programs on waste minimization, reuse, recycling and resource recovery.
  • Pennsylvania Chapter of APA encourage revisions to comprehensive plans, zoning ordinance and subdivision and land development regulations that make the location of waste management facilities feasible and acceptable using clear and objective standards.
  • Pennsylvania Chapter of APA supports and encourages telecommuting, car pooling, compressed work weeks, walking and bicycling by providing incentives and appropriate means by which to do so.
  • Pennsylvania Chapter of APA supports improved monitoring of community water systems, including testing for all possible harmful substances.
  • Pennsylvania Chapter of APA supports government efforts to support the search for renewable sources of energy.