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Bylaws

Article I: Name: The name of this committee shall be the Water Resources Advisory Committee, Department of Environmental Protection, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Article II: Purpose: The purpose of the Committee is to provide technical advice to the Department of Environmental Protection on the environmental, economic, and other social impacts of existing, new or proposed regulations, policies, and control techniques or technologies affecting water resources management including but not limited to surface/ground water quality and quantity issues. The Committee may request to review a Department policy, guidance or regulation needed to implement programs of the Office of Water Management and may also suggest initiatives in water resources management to the Department. The Committee is to consider multi-media inputs in setting its agenda and in advising the Department. The Committee shall encourage public input on the water resources technical matters under consideration at the Committee meetings.

Article III: Members: 
A. The Committee members shall be appointed by the Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection and shall not receive any compensation for their services, but shall be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary travel and other expenses incurred upon submission of Department-approved documentation. Committee members shall serve for two (2) year terms and may be re-appointed at the discretion of the Secretary.

B. The Committee shall include members with a variety of technical backgrounds in biology, geology, toxicology, hydrology, engineering, or other areas that deal with surface water and groundwater environments.

C. The number of Committee members shall be at the Secretary’s discretion. Lists of the Committee membership shall be maintained by the Department and the Chair of the Committee.

D. Members who miss three or more consecutive meetings of the Committee may be recommended by the Committee to the Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection for removal from the Committee.

Article IV: Officers:
A. The officers of the Committee shall be a Chair and a Vice Chair. The officers of the Committee shall be elected by a majority vote of members present at the first meeting of the Committee of the state fiscal year, or at such other time as determined by the Committee. Written notice of the election shall be sent to each member at least two weeks prior to the meeting. The officers shall hold office for a term of one year or until their successors are elected.

B. It shall be the duty of the Chair to preside at all meetings of the Committee, call special meetings, prepare the meeting agenda in consultation with the Department, and perform other such duties as pertain to the office.

C. It shall be the duty of the Vice-Chair to perform the duties of the Chair in his/her absence. The Vice Chair shall also assist the Chair in the performance of such duties as may be assigned by the Chair.

Article V: Ad Hoc Work Groups:
A. The Chair may appoint with the concurrence of the Department, ad hoc work groups, as deemed necessary and appropriate, with each ad hoc work group assigned specific tasks when it is formed. The ad hoc work group shall be chaired by a member of the Committee. Non-committee members may be invited to participate in such ad hoc work groups. All members of the Committee are invited to attend all ad hoc work group meetings. In the selection of ad hoc work groups and in the use of outside technical resources, an attempt shall be made to maintain a balance of interests.

B. It shall be the responsibility of the chair of the ad hoc work group, in consultation with the Department and the Chair, to maintain lists of members, call meetings, establish an agenda, and prepare minutes of the ad hoc work group and submit the same to the members of the Committee and the Department for each meeting of the ad hoc work group. The chair of the ad hoc work group, in consultation with the Department, shall issue reports to the Committee on the progress and findings of the ad hoc work group. The ad hoc work group shall not have decision-making authority independent of the Committee, but rather shall advise and report to the Committee. The Committee may take action on the advice and recommendations of an ad hoc work group, as it deems appropriate.

C. Ad hoc work group meetings may be scheduled as deemed necessary and appropriate by the work group chair, in consultation with the Department and the Committee Chair. Notice of said meetings may be provided informally to work group members, and need not be subject to the public notice requirements for Committee meetings.

Article VI: Administration:
Secretarial duties shall be performed by employees designated by the Department. It shall be their duty to function as the recording and corresponding secretary, as assigned by the Department. Including among these duties shall be:

A. To give public notice of the meetings for the Committee.

B. To record full Committee meetings and keep a permanent file of the minutes of the meetings of the Committee and ad hoc work groups. Minutes of the meetings of the Committee and of ad hoc work groups shall be distributed to the full membership of the Committee. Minutes may be reviewed by the Chair prior to distribution.

C. To conduct both outgoing and incoming correspondence and to maintain a permanent file of such correspondence.

D. To perform other such duties as may be requested by the Committee.

Article VII: Meetings:
A. Meetings of the Committee shall be open to the public in accordance with the Sunshine Act, 65 Pa.C.S. Chapter 7, and shall be held quarterly unless otherwise determined by the Chair and the Department. Meetings may be held via electronic media in accordance with the Sunshine Act. Reasonable advance notice of the meeting dates shall be sent to all members by the Department.

B. A majority (i.e., more than one-half) of the Committee members shall constitute a quorum. A majority of the members must be present at the meeting and at the time of a vote for any formal Committee action to be taken. The Chair shall be allowed to vote on all issues. A majority of members present shall carry the vote except as noted below.

C. No alternates or proxies for members of the Committee shall be allowed, and all members are expected to attend all meetings.

D. Attendance in person is encouraged at all meetings. However, at times members may not be able to attend in person, and participation by electronic media is an acceptable alternative. Members participating via electronic media shall be considered present, and have full voting privileges provided that, the members are able to hear the comments of and speak to all those present at the meeting and all those present at the meeting are able to hear the comments of and speak to such members contemporaneously.

Article VIII: Commenting to the Department: Official comments of the Committee to the Department on regulations, policies, guidelines, or other issues must be approved by a majority of the Committee members present at the meeting.

Article IX: Public Participation and Outside Presentations: Open time for public participation will be provided at each meeting of the Committee. The length of open time may vary depending upon the number of agenda items for consideration and will be at the discretion of the Chair. The Chair may choose to invite public input on agenda topics as they ensue and will limit the time for such discussions accordingly. The Committee, in consultation with the Department, may allow outside presentations such as speakers, films, etc.

Article X: Amendment of By-Laws: The By-Laws may be amended at any meeting of the Committee by two-thirds vote of the members present, provided that written notice of such change has been sent to each member at least two weeks prior to the meeting, and a quorum of members is present. 

Article XI: Parliamentary Authority: On items not covered by these By-Laws, Roberts Rules of Order shall be the final authority.