Yaw Bill to Increase Penalties Against Attacks on Critical Infrastructure Approved by Senate

HARRISBURG – Legislation to increase fines and penalties against those who intentionally vandalize or attack critical infrastructure was approved yesterday by the state Senate, according to Sen. Gene Yaw (R-23), sponsor of the measure.

Under Senate Bill 819, those who willfully damage, destroy, vandalize, deface, or tamper with equipment in a critical infrastructure facility will face a minimum of 3rd-degree felony charges and a fine of no less than $10,000, along with the potential to face civil suits for damages to personal or real estate interests.

“Destabilizing the power grid comes with huge national security risks and doing so should not be taken lightly,” Sen. Yaw said. “Purposeful damage to these facilities can have a far-ranging impact. We need to send a message to those who would attempt to destroy vital infrastructure and hold these bad actors accountable.”

Yaw sponsored the measure after attacks at two electrical substations in Moore County, North Carolina in December 2022.  Law enforcement reports gunfire at the sites cut power to nearby communities, leaving most of the rural region without electricity for days. The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security also warned of increasing threats to the power grid from terrorists both foreign and domestic.

“Losing power not only disrupts our day-to-day activities but can take lives, especially among our most vulnerable populations,” Yaw continued. “We need to do all we can to discourage these criminal acts before tragedy strikes.” 

The bill now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.

For more state-related news and information, constituents can visit Senator Yaw’s website at www.SenatorGeneYaw.com or follow him on Facebook and Twitter @SenatorGeneYaw.


Elizabeth Weitzel

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