The PA Chamber believes that environmental excellence and economic growth are mutually-compatible objectives, and that environmental and natural resources laws and programs should be framed and implemented to concurrently meet these twin objectives. The PA Chamber advocates for environmental laws, regulations and policies that are based in sound science; set flexible environmental protection goals; and do not impose undue regulatory burdens.

PA Chamber: Commonwealth Court Decision Overturning RGGI a Win for Consumers and An Opportunity for Long-Term Solutions

November 01, 2023 | Michael Plummer

HARRISBURG – Luke Bernstein, President and CEO of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, issued the following statement in response to today’s Commonwealth Court decision that found former Gov. Tom Wolf’s attempt to enter Pennsylvania into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) to be unconstitutional: “We agree with the Commonwealth Court’s conclusion that joining RGGI […]

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PA Chamber Testifies Before U.S. Senate Panel on Environmental Regulations

June 15, 2023 | Michael Plummer

HARRISBURG – Today, Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry Director of Government Affairs Kevin Sunday testified before the United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Chemical Safety, Waste Management, Environmental Justice, and Regulatory Oversight. The hearing, entitled “The Impacts of Plastics Production and Disposal on Environmental Justice Communities,” explored the balance […]

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PA Chamber Leads Coalition Urging EPA to Withdraw Controversial Water Rule

June 01, 2023 | Michael Plummer

HARRISBURG – A coalition of 24 state chambers, led by the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, has submitted a comment letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), calling for the withdrawal of a controversial water quality rule which the agency recently proposed. In its letter, addressed to EPA Assistant Administrator Radhika Fox, the multi-state […]

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On the Hill: PA Chamber Marks Progress on Top Legislative Priorities

May 22, 2023

The PA Chamber has made major policy strides this session on behalf of our broad-based membership and has identified three legislative areas as top priorities for the current session: tax reform, permitting reform, and workforce development. We know that Act 53 of 2022 brought us decades’ worth of tax reforms, including reducing our state’s corporate […]

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Senate Answers Call on Permitting Reform; Tax Bills Clear Committee

May 15, 2023

Last week, the Pennsylvania Senate voted to pass a comprehensive permitting reform bill that addresses several of the business community’s top concerns regarding the current process, while two committees advanced a suite of proposals to improve Pennsylvania’s tax competitiveness and enhance the permit appeals process, respectively. Here are the highlights from last week’s session:   […]

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PA Chamber Statement on Senate Passage of S.B. 350

May 10, 2023 | Michael Plummer

HARRISBURG – Today, Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry President and CEO Luke Bernstein released the following statement after the Pennsylvania Senate voted to pass S.B. 350, legislation that would enact meaningful and necessary reforms to the state’s permitting system: “We have a generational opportunity within our grasp to advance a significant permitting reform bill that would lead […]

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PA Chamber Leads Coalition in Calling on Lawmakers to Enact Permitting Reform

May 08, 2023 | Michael Plummer

HARRISBURG – Today, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry spearheaded a group of 68 leading business associations and local chambers of commerce in sending a letter to Governor Josh Shapiro and members of the Pennsylvania state legislature, urging them to take decisive action in reforming the state’s “dysfunctional and unpredictable permitting system.” The coalition, which represents several […]

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Commuter Services Provides Employers Access to Transportation Resources as a Workforce Development Strategy

November 23, 2021

As we continue to navigate the pandemic, workforce development has become an important topic of discussion as employers compete to fill open positions.  Transportation is one of the major barriers faced by individuals seeking work, and Commuter Services can be a vital tool to help provide transportation resources to both employers and employees.   Commuter […]

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House ERE Committee Votes on RGGI Disapproval Resolution

August 02, 2021

On July 28, the House Environmental Resources and Energy (ERE) Committee convened to vote on sending a letter expressing disapproval of the Wolf administration’s proposed regulation joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a regional cap-and-trade program for power plants. The letter will be sent to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC), who along with […]

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Environmental Quality Board Approves Regional Cap-and-Trade Electricity Regulation

July 19, 2021

On July 13, by a 15-4 vote, the Environmental Quality Board advanced the final-form version of a regulation that would join Pennsylvania with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI. The final regulation will next be evaluated by the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) and the Office of Attorney General, and the standing environmental committees […]

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The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry believes that environmental excellence and economic growth are mutually-compatible objectives, and that environmental and natural resources laws and programs should be framed and implemented to concurrently meet these twin objectives. The PA Chamber advocates for environmental laws, regulations and policies that:

  • are based on sound science and a careful assessment of environmental objectives, risks, alternatives, costs, and economic and other impacts;
  • set environmental protection goals, while allowing and encouraging flexibility and creativity in their achievement;
  • allow market-based approaches to seek the attainment of environmental goals in the most cost-effective manner;
  • measure success based on environmental health and quality metrics rather than violations, fines and penalties;
  • assess compliance based on clear, predictable and defined criteria established through stakeholder processes and with sound science;
  • do not impose costs which are unjustified compared to actual benefits achieved;
  • do not exceed federal requirements unless there is a clear, broadly accepted, scientifically-based approach that considers conditions particular to Pennsylvania and provides a cost-effective benefit to the state;
  • develop a private-public relationship which promotes working together to meet proper compliance; and
  • ensure regulatory certainty through timely regulatory approvals and authorizations.

As part of a sustainable economic and environmental policy, the PA Chamber supports natural resources management laws and programs that encourage the scientifically-sound conservation, stewardship and development of Pennsylvania’s natural resources (including water, timber, minerals, oil and gas) for the benefit of all Pennsylvanians. Additionally, the PA Chamber supports voluntary energy efficiency and other sustainability measures, including environmental management systems and environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategies utilized by companies to efficiently and effectively meet environmental regulatory requirements and utilize resources to meet their financial and business objectives.

The PA Chamber advocates for cost effective air laws, regulations and policies based on sound principles that are reasonable and technologically and economically feasible to protect and enhance public health and the environment without placing in-state businesses at a competitive disadvantage. With regard to greenhouse gas emissions, the PA Chamber supports efforts in Pennsylvania which balance societal environmental, energy, and economic objectives, fit rationally within any finally adopted and applicable national or international strategy, and capitalize on the availability of Pennsylvania’s diverse natural resources to facilitate economic development in the Commonwealth.

The PA Chamber advocates for laws, regulations and policies for waste management that are based on sound principles and encourage conservation, waste reduction, recycling and beneficial reuse. The PA Chamber supports policies that will provide proper treatment and disposal of waste materials and oppose policies that seek to increase the costs of waste handling, treatment and disposal without a commensurate benefit to human health or the environment.

The PA Chamber advocates for water laws, regulations and policies that treat both water quality and quantity issues in a balanced and fair manner. We believe that water quality management should address both point and non-point sources equitably and proportional to their contribution to water quality challenges. The PA Chamber supports implementation of creative, wellstructured and stable market-based approaches as part of a holistic water resources approach, including trading mechanisms that will result in an overall improvement in water quality while providing for innovation and flexibility among trading partners. The PA Chamber supports the improvement of Pennsylvania water use information and planning programs to provide an adequate basis for assessing current and potential future water resource challenges, and providing a sound basis for public and private decisions.

Management of stormwater represents an ongoing and growing water quality and quantity (storm flow, flooding and groundwater recharge) challenge across Pennsylvania, impacting communities with both combined sewer systems and municipal separate storm sewer systems. Meeting that challenge will require well-targeted programs and infrastructure investments coordinated and implemented on a multi-municipality, watershed basis. The PA Chamber supports development and implementation of cost-effective stormwater planning, regulatory and infrastructure investment programs, coordinated at the county and/or watershed level, including utilization of community based public private partnerships and stormwater authorities and utilities. Costs of stormwater programs should be allocated and shared on an equitable basis among properties in a watershed considering their relative contributions to stormwater runoff, with appropriate credits given to the investments made by industrial and commercial property owners in implementing on-site stormwater management controls to avoid or mitigate stormwater impacts.

Land Use Planning:
Effective regulation requires simple, expeditious and efficient procedures to obtain approvals required for land use. Clear delineations must be made between the role of local land use planning and regulation and the responsibility of state government with respect to the permitting and regulation of air quality, water resources and water quality, solid waste management, and critical mineral resources. Environmental laws and regulations should be established and enforced on a consistent statewide basis and should not be used as a method of controlling local land use and development.

Natural Resources Management:
Pennsylvania’s natural resources, including coal and non-coal minerals, oil, gas, water, and timber, are essential components of the Commonwealth’s economy and environment. The PA Chamber supports management approaches that assure sustainable management methods for renewable natural resources (such as water and timber) and that promote reasonable and environmentally-sound development of non-renewable resources (such as coal and other minerals). The PA Chamber also supports the thoughtful, planned development of publiclyowned natural resources on state-owned lands (such as forests and game lands) consistent with multi-purpose management of those public lands, and opposes moratoriums or similar mechanisms which hinder such development.

Revised by the Policy Committee. Approved by the Board of Directors on August 4, 2022.