[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Springfield 4-12-2006 by Ord. No. 878. Amendments noted where applicable.]
An advisory commission, to be known as the "Springfield Township Environmental Advisory Commission," (EAC) is hereby created, as enabled by Act 148 of 1973 of the Pennsylvania General Assembly and shall continue to function until this chapter is revoked.
Editor's Note: This ordinance also provided that: "Nothing herein contained shall be construed as abolishing or limiting any existing municipal agency, board, commission, authority or committee, even though such agency, board, commission, authority, or committee may have a responsibility related to the responsibilities delegated to the EAC hereunder."
The purpose of the EAC is as follows:
Advise the Board of Commissioners and Springfield Township Commissions, Boards, Committees and other Springfield Township agencies on, and promote education about, issues relating to the management, promotion, use, protection, and conservation of Springfield Township's natural resources, including air, land, and water resources, and residents' enjoyment thereof.
Work with Springfield Township agencies and other partners to maintain and develop the natural resources in Springfield Township in a way that will continue to attract and retain residents, visitors, and businesses.
The Board of Commissioners of Springfield Township shall appoint all members of the EAC for staggered three-year terms of office with the initial terms using the following format: one-third of the positions as one-year terms, a second-third as two-year terms, and the remainder as three-year terms, with all successive members' terms being three years. Members of the EAC shall elect a Chairperson, Vice Chair and Recording Secretary each year on the anniversary month of the effective date of this chapter. Membership on the EAC shall be composed of seven full members and alternates/ex-officio members as determined by the Board. Members shall be residents of Springfield Township. The Board of Commissioners shall appoint a liaison to the EAC. Wherever possible, membership on the EAC shall include the following:
Representation from each of the towns (Wyndmoor, Flourtown, Erdenheim, North Woods, Laverock, Oreland, and parts of Lafayette Hill) or watersheds within Springfield Township.
At least two members with technical training in the environmental sciences.
Other members with expertise in environmental education, planning or natural sciences.
The EAC shall have the following duties and powers:
To identify environmental issues and recommend plans and programs to the Board of Commissioners and other appropriate Township commissions, boards, committees, or other agencies to encourage the sustainable development of Springfield Township. For the purpose of this chapter, "sustainable development" is defined as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs to promote and conserve natural resources, and to protect and improve the quality of the environment within the Township limits, and Township residents' enjoyment of it.
To promote a community environmental sustainability program and public education.
To recommend possible uses of open land areas in the Township.
To keep an index of all open space, publicly and privately owned, including, but not limited to flood-prone areas, wetlands, and other unique natural areas, for the purpose of obtaining information on the use of such areas that will promote sustainable development in Springfield Township.
To work with other municipal EACs to address issues affecting the sustainable development of multiple townships, such as watershed issues, forests and aquifer recharge areas.
To advise the Board of Commissioners and other appropriate Township boards, commissions or committees on the acquisition and management of property, both real and personal, by gift, purchase, grant, bequest, easement, devise or lease in matters dealing with the protection, conservation, management, promotion and use of natural resources and the sustainable development of Springfield Township.
To undertake such environmental or sustainability-related tasks as requested by the Board of Commissioners.
To provide, at the request of the Board of Commissioners or any of the Township advisory committees, input on programs or projects under review by said Board or committees related to the environment. Notwithstanding the input, the process shall not obviate the need to comply with review deadlines such as but not limited to the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code.
The EAC shall endeavor to take advantage of such programs of assistance to EACs, including educational services, exchange of information, assignment of technical personnel for natural resources planning assistance and coordination of state and local conservation activities, as may be established by the State Conservation Commission or the Department of Environmental Protection, and any program of assistance to EACs in planning for the management, use and development of open space and recreation areas, and any other program of assistance that may be advantageous to the sustainable development of Springfield Township.
The EAC will submit a budget annually to the Board of Commissioners for approval, to be used for educational materials, training, projects and programs, or other administrative, clerical, printing and legal service costs, or dues for affiliation with environmental, educational and/or planning organizations. Members of the EAC shall receive no compensation for their services but shall be reimbursed for the expenses actually and necessarily incurred by them in the performance of their duties. The Commission may not contract for materials or services.
The EAC may explore sources of funding for specific projects, including, but not limited to gifts, grants, and defined fundraising activities. The EAC shall consult with the Board of Commissioners regarding the legal implications connected with receiving funding from sources other than the Township.
The EAC shall keep records of its meetings and activities. The minutes will be read and approved or amended and approved at the next EAC meeting or via e-mail. The EAC will submit approved EAC meeting minutes to the Board of Commissioners as soon as possible after approval, but not more than 30 days after approval. The EAC shall make an annual report to the Board of Commissioners by October 1. Copies of minutes and annual reports will be maintained in the offices of the Township.
Such powers and duties as are now or may hereafter be provided by the statutes of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or by ordinances of Springfield Township relating to the creation of the EAC and the carrying out of its powers and duties are hereby vested in the EAC, to be exercised by it, subject to any and all restrictions contained in such powers and ordinances.