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Berks County > County Departments > Berks County Association of Environmental Advisory Councils
Information on Creating an EAC
Green Line
 
Introduction
 
What is an EAC? An Environmental Advisory Council is a group of 3-7 community residents, appointed by local elected officials, that advises the local planning commission, park and recreation board and elected officials on the protection, conservation, management, promotion and use of natural resources within its territorial limits. Municipalities are authorized to establish EACs through Act 177 of 1996, originally Act 148 of 1973.

EAC members devote time and energy to assist elected and appointed officials in protecting the environment. They can act on a municipal or multi-municipal level.
 
Why are EAC's a priority for Pennsylvania?
 
Through the legislature, Pennsylvania has chosen to delegate much of its power to regulate land to the local government. As a result, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has 2,572 local governing bodies. The decisions these governing bodies make on a variety of issues, from land use designations to stream corridor protection, have direct impacts on natural resources within individual municipalities and beyond. EACs, as part of local government, work directly with municipal officials to help them make environmentally sound decisions - and protect the health and quality of life of our communities.
 
How many EAC's are there in Pennsylvania?
 
There are over one hundred EACs in Pennsylvania and they are continuously being formed. Look at our interactive map to locate EACs across the state!
 
What do EAC's do?
 
In accordance with Act 177, EACs are authorized to:

• Identify environmental problems and recommend plans and programs to protect
   and improve the quality of the environment;
• Make recommendations about the use of open land;
• Promote a community environmental program;
• Keep an index of all open space areas to determine the proper use of such areas;
• Review plans, conduct site visits, and prepare reports for municipal officials; and
• Advise local government agencies about the acquisition of property
 
What EAC's don't do:
 
• EACs do not regulate; they are advisory only.
• EACs do not take the place of or compete with planning commissions or park and
   recreation boards; they augment and work closely with them.
• EACs are not activist or extremist environmental groups- they are part of the local
   government and accomplish the most when they work well with local officials.
• EACs do not compete with local grass-roots organizations, such as watershed associations.
   They are contact points and local government liaisons for these groups.
• EACs do not add bureaucracy to the local government- they have an organized procedure
  for participating in land use decisions.
 
Where can I find copies of an ordinance passed by other communities in Berks County or a copy of samples for my municipality to consider? 
 
Copies of approved ordinances and bylaws can be found at some of the links below.  In addition, you can find the actual copies of the bylaws and ordinances for the EAC's in Berks County on their websites. 
 
      Ordinances and Bylaws creating EAC's passed in Berks County
 
       Word Document Word     PDF Document PDF       Robeson Township Ordinance: Creating an EAC
       Word Document Word     PDF Document PDF       Robeson Township EAC Bylaws
 

Is there an organization that can help us create an EAC?
 
Yes, the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) has full-time staff and dedicated professionals who have created many EAC's throughout Pennsylvania.  By working with PEC, the Berks County EAC has created a committee whose sole purpose is to work with existing EAC's in Berks and help establish new municipal EAC's within Berks County.
 
 
Additional Contacts
 
Berks County EAC
 
Pennsylvania Environmental Council
Jeanne Ortiz: jortiz@pecpa.org