Senator Scott Hutchinson E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Stop The Tolls
  • Applications Open for Watershed Cleanup Grants
  • Share Your Views on PennDOT’s Winter Services
  • Summer Camp for Teens Interested in Law Enforcement, Military
  • Call 811 Before Excavation Projects
  • Child Abuse Prevention Month

Stop The Tolls

I wanted to provide you with another update about our ongoing efforts to combat PennDOT’s P3 Bridge Tolling Initiative. On Tuesday, April 19, PennDOT and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) began the online open house and 30-day comment period for the Canoe Creek Bridges on Interstate 80 in Clarion County. There will be an in-person public hearing held on May 4, from 3:30-7 p.m. at the Wolf’s Den Banquet & Conference Facility located at 291 Timberwolf Run in Knox in Clarion County. For the previous public comment period, only 96 individuals submitted comment and only 35 individuals showed up to the in-person open house. It is imperative to make your voices and concerns heard to PennDOT and FHWA as they do this round of Environmental Assessments for the bridge projects.

Comments may be submitted online at www.penndot.pa.gov/i80CanoeCreek until 11:59 p.m. on May 19, 2022. Comments can also be submitted by email at i80CanoeCreek@pa.gov or by mail at PennDOT District 10, Attn: I-80 Canoe Creek Bridges Project, 2550 Oakland Ave., Indiana, PA 15701-3388.

Once you arrive on the webpage you will see boxes that you are able to click on that prompt you to “View the Environmental Assessment Open House” or “Sign-Up to Provide Testimony at In-Person Hearing”. If you click on the first box, it will provide you with in-depth information on what the FHWA plans on compiling while performing their Environmental Assessment and that is where you will be prompted with a Green Box that says, “Comment Now”. The “Comment Now” box will take you to the bottom of the page which will bring you to the “Get Involved” section and provide you with further information on how you can continue to offer your concerns to PennDOT and the FHWA and the P3 Board’s Bridge Tolling Initiative. Please remember that testimony for the In-Person Hearing on May 4, must be submitted in advance. You can do so online at www.penndot.pa.gov/i80CanoeCreek and follow the prompts to the “Sign-Up to Provide Testimony at In-Person Hearing” or by calling 814-201-9939.

Regionally, the NO P3 Bridge Tolling Coalition held a press conference on Thursday, which I attended, where they announced plans for a rally in Harrisburg on June 8, at 10 a.m. on the Capitol steps. The press conference highlighted that this does not only impact our communities in Northwestern Pennsylvania or the 9 interstate bridges they have planned to toll. The manner in which Governor Tom Wolf enacted the plan leaves the door wide open for the P3 Board to toll every interstate bridge in Pennsylvania. The initiative was adopted illegally; behind closed doors with no transparency, which is why we are going to try and repeal this entire initiative.

Thank you again for joining in on the fight to Stop the Tolls. Please make sure you use one of the above ways to make your voice heard in this process. We must continue to work together to get the message out to Stop the Tolls!

Applications Open for Watershed Cleanup Grants

Applications are being accepted for Growing Greener Plus grants to help protect creeks, rivers and other waterways from pollution and restore impaired watersheds.

The funding supports projects aimed at reducing nonpoint source pollution, which is caused by abandoned mine drainage, urban and agricultural runoff, on-lot sewage systems, earthmoving, and streambank and shoreline degradation.

Eligible applicants include counties, municipalities, municipal authorities, county conservation districts, watershed organizations, councils of governments, educational institutions and other authorized organizations involved in water resource restoration and protection.

Share Your Views on PennDOT’s Winter Services

How did PennDOT do this winter? Motorists have until April 29 to provide feedback via an online survey.

The 17-question survey asks respondents about their timeline expectations for safe and passable roadways, how they rank snow-removal priorities and how they rate PennDOT’s winter services.

The survey should take about five minutes to complete. All responses are completely anonymous.

Summer Camp for Teens Interested in Law Enforcement, Military

Teens ages 15 to 17 interested in a career in law enforcement or the military can apply now for a summer leadership camp held by the Pennsylvania State Police, Pennsylvania National Guard and the American Legion.

The Elmer Hafer-American Legion-State Police-National Guard Youth Camp will be held June 5-11 at Messiah University in Mechanicsburg, Cumberland County. The cost is $175.

During the camp, cadets work on team-building exercises, physical fitness training, classroom activities involving police and military careers and a marksmanship course. Cadets will also visit the State Police Academy in Hershey and Fort Indiantown Gap National Guard Training Center in Lebanon County. In addition, the camp offers three $1,000 scholarship awards at the conclusion of the week.

Call 811 Before Excavation Projects

Nearly half of all underground line “hits” occurring during excavations are caused by failure to contact the PA One Call system by calling 811 before digging, or failure to wait the required three business days before projects begin.

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission is using Safe Digging Month to remind homeowners, businesses, contractors and anyone else involved in excavation projects of the importance of calling 811 before any project begins and allowing time for utility operators to locate and mark their lines before any digging.

Hits on underground lines pose a danger to contractors, utility workers, nearby residents and bystanders. Each incident carries the possibility of serious injuries, service interruptions and costly repairs.

Child Abuse Prevention Month

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time to rededicate ourselves to strengthening families and preventing child abuse and neglect.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides an array of information aimed at preventing child abuse, protecting children from the risk of abuse and promoting healthy families.

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