Kinkead introduces measure to help protect residents from landslides

HARRISBURG, March 30 – Landslides have devastated families across Allegheny County and are only becoming more of a problem throughout Pennsylvania, so state Rep. Emily Kinkead is spearheading a bill that would create a program to help.

Kinkead, D-Allegheny, said H.B. 1054 would establish the Landslide Insurance and Assistance Program with the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency. The program would establish a special insurance and assistance funds to ensure Pennsylvanians are properly protected from the destructive and devastating force of landslides.

“In my district, an entire house fell off the side of a hill because of landslides and because it was not caused by mine subsidence, there was absolutely no insurance coverage to help the family rebuild their lives from the loss. While landslides resulting from mining practices receive special insurance coverage, those that occur due to excessive rain or snowfall aren’t typically covered, and that leaves far too many residents vulnerable to financial ruin,” said Kinkead. “These landslides can occur anywhere if the right conditions are present. With warmer weather here, it’s vital we take action now on this issue.”

Several Allegheny County representatives, including state Reps. Austin Davis, Dan Deasy, Sara Innamorato and Nick Pisciottano, have signed on in support of Kinkead’s bill.

“People in my district have seen their share of disruptive landslides. The fact that insurance programs leave folks unprotected during unpredictable times is unacceptable,” said Davis. “This legislation would offer some security and provide help to those affected by landslides when they need it most.”

“Landslides know no boundaries. They have happened in my district and surrounding areas, devastating property owners and businesses alike,” Deasy said. “We need to do all we can to protect people in the event of a landslide and ensure they’re able to recover financial and property damages in the aftermath.”

“An increase in precipitation, the composite of the soil in our area, and the lack of necessary investment in our infrastructure leave us vulnerable to landslides across our region. These potentially catastrophic events pose large health, safety and financial risks to our neighbors and local businesses,” Innamorato said. “This insurance program is one step we can take to protect residents against financial, physical and emotional ruin in the event of a landslide.”

“In Allegheny County, many of my constituents face the threat of landslides that threaten to undermine entire neighborhoods. It can be a terrifying experience to know that your single, most valuable asset – your home – could be destroyed and rendered worthless at any time due to a landslide,” Pisciottano said. “Representative Kinkead’s legislation to establish the Landslide Insurance and Assistance Program would go a long way to helping Pennsylvanians manage and prepare for landslides on public and private property.”

More information on Kinkead’s legislation can be found at this link: https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20210&cosponId=34628.