Bill Introduced to Exempt High Tunnels from Storm Water Management Act
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Posted by: Gregg Robertson
LANCASTER – Some townships in Lancaster are requiring that high tunnels constructed within their jurisdictions be subject to storm water planning and engineering requirements. These requirements can cost the nursery or farm constructing the high tunnel thousands of dollars.
In response, Rep. David Zimmerman (R – Lancaster) has introduced HB 1103 that would exempt high tunnels from the planning and regulatory requirements of the Storm Water Management Act.
High tunnels have been receiving increasing local government scrutiny over the past several years. In 2013, PLNA and other agriculture organizations were successful in encouraging the General Assembly to pass bills exempting high tunnels from real estate taxes.
In 2014, PLNA and its agriculture partners also successfully sought legislation that clarified that high tunnels and other agricultural buildings are not subject to the building requirements of the Uniform Construction Code (UCC).
High tunnels are an inexpensive way of extending the growing season and protecting plants from harsh winter conditions. If they are taxed and subject to expensive regulatory programs, high tunnels will lose their economic advantages.
PLNA is reviewing HB 1103 and is likely to support it. If you have thoughts on HB 1103, please share them with Gregg Robertson at PLNA by email or phone (717.238.2033 direct).