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Senator Gene Yaw is presented with the PWEA 2019 “Public Official of the Year” Award during the PennTec 91st Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition in State College Monday, June 3.  Left to right:  Duane Mowery, PWEA Member; Sen. Gene Yaw; Kevin Shannon PWEA President 2018-2019, and Scot Fertich, PWEA President 2019-2020.

HARRISBURG – State Sen. Gene Yaw (R-23) was honored with the 2019 “Public Official of the Year” Award by the Pennsylvania Water Environment Association (PWEA) during its annual award ceremony Monday night, June 3, in State College. 

The award is given to an individual state or local elected or appointed public official who has demonstrated leadership that has had a positive impact or has made a significant contribution towards improving the water industry or the water environment.

Senator Yaw serves as Chairman of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee and has authored and championed several bills aimed at protecting and improving Pennsylvania’s water quality over the years.  He also serves as Chairman of the Pennsylvania Chesapeake Bay Commission (CBC) delegation. 

The CBC is a tri-state legislative assembly representing Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania that coordinates Bay-related policy across state lines from managing living resources and conserving land, to protecting water quality.

“I am truly honored to be presented with the “Public Official of the Year” award by the PWEA,” Sen. Yaw said.  “As a legislator, I take very seriously my role in advancing measures that I believe will improve our environment and protect it for future generations.  Our water resources are an immeasurable asset that we must never take for granted.”

During the 2019-20 legislative session, Senator Yaw has sponsored several measures aimed at protecting Pennsylvania’s water resources:

· Legislation amending Title 3 (Agriculture) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes (Fertilizer), setting clear standards for the application of fertilizer to turf, providing for labels and labeling and the disposition of funds.

· Legislation to provide additional financial and technical assistance to farmers to install and implement best management practices on their land.

· Legislation directing the Environmental Quality Board to develop regulations that authorize counties to adopt a program for “stream cleaning” and maintenance and the removal of obstructions and flood-related hazards from our local waterways.

· Legislation amending the Public School Code to require all school drinking water systems to be tested for lead contamination.

· Legislation instituting a nutrient procurement program that will engage the private sector and provide incentive to reduce nitrogen pollution.

· Resolution recognizing the week of May 5 through May 11, 2019 as “Drinking Water Week” in Pennsylvania.

· Resolution designating the week of June 2-8, 2019 as “Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week” in Pennsylvania.

The PWEA was founded in 1926 to advance the preservation, protection and improvement of water resources. It provides accredited training to industry professionals and publishes a quarterly magazine spotlighting industry news, noteworthy projects, and continuing education opportunities. For more information, visit the association’s website at pwea.org.