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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 99-1611



[29 Pa.B. 4938]

Amendment to Proclamation

September 10, 1999

   Whereas, on July 20, 1999, I declared a State of Drought Emergency in fifty-five counties of the Commonwealth due to a long and continuing period of unusually dry weather, abnormally low stream flows, and reduced groundwater which resulted in widespread shortage of water supplies throughout the Commonwealth; and

   Whereas, further investigations by the Departments of Environmental Protection and Agriculture reveal that the soil moisture content of the Commonwealth's topsoil and acquifiers, as measured by the Palmer Index and other indicators, has continued to exacerbate the serious effects of the drought and has severely impacted the agricultural and farming community's ability to grow crops, feed livestock, and perform other normal agricultural functions; and

   Whereas, due to the severe impact of the drought on the Commonwealth's agricultural community, on August 9, 1999, I requested that the United States Department of Agriculture declare all sixty-seven counties of the Commonwealth to be in a state of disaster emergency; and

   Whereas, on August 13, 1999, the Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture declared all sixty-seven counties of the Commonwealth as a primary natural disaster area; and

   Whereas, it is necessary to amend my Proclamation of July 20, 1999, to make it consistent with the geographical area covered by the United States Department of Agriculture's declaration of an agricultural disaster area.

   Therefore, I, Tom Ridge, Governor, of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution, the Emergency Management Services Code, 35 Pa.C.S.A. Section 7101 et seq., as amended, and other laws of the Commonwealth, do hereby amend my Proclamation of July 20, 1999, as follows:

   1.  The counties of Armstrong, Butler, Clarion, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, Jefferson, McKean, Mercer, Venango, and Warren are added to the previously designated drought emergency area. These twelve counties, however, shall not be subject to paragraph 3 of the July 20, 1999 drought emergency proclamation relating to, among other things, mandatory water restrictions.

   2.  I hereby transfer up to $5,000,000 in unused appropriated funds to the Department of Agriculture. The aforementioned funds shall be expended by the Department in such manner as approved by me to relieve the drought emergency conditions affecting the Commonwealth's farming and agricultural community. These funds shall be credited to a special account established by the Office of the Budget. All Commonwealth agencies purchasing supplies or services in response to this emergency are authorized to utilize the emergency procurement procedures set forth in Section 516 of the Commonwealth Procurement Code, Act of May 15, 1998, P. L. 358, No. 57, § 1, 62 Pa.C.S. § 516. This Proclamation amendment shall serve as the written determination of the basis for the emergency under Section 516.

   3.  This Proclamation amendment shall take effect immediately from the date of this amendment.

   Given under my hand and the Seal of the Governor, at the City of Harrisburg, this tenth day of September in the year of our Lord, one thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine and of the Commonwealth the two hundred and twenty-fourth.

Ridge Signature

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 99-1611. Filed for public inspection September 24, 1999, 9:00 a.m.]

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