This bill provides upfront protection to species

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Sunday’s editorial on Pennsylvania’s proposed Endangered Species Coordination Act betrays a lack of understanding of what the current state of the law is and what the proposal would do (“Not What It Seems: Deceptive Bill Will Not Protect Endangered Species,” March 9). As unbelievable as it may sound, builders, developers and gas drillers are not permitted to know where endangered species habitats are located. As a result, it is impossible to know how to design a project that avoids those areas and provides maximum protection for the habitat. The proposed reforms would allow access to the information while planning is underway. While this change would make the process less difficult for developers, it would also provide greater upfront protection to species and their habitats.

The other proposed change is to make the Game and Fish and Boat commissions subject to the same process that the Department of Environmental Protection goes through when it wants to add something to the endangered species list. And that is the same process DEP goes through every time it proposes a new regulation. The reason is simple: No executive branch bureaucrat — no matter what party is in power, no matter what the agency, no matter what the issue — should be able to issue new regulations without appropriate checks and balances in place.

Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce

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