HARRISBURG—Legislation sponsored by Rep. Todd Stephens (R-Montgomery) to eliminate local surcharges that ratepayers are paying to remove PFAS from local drinking water supplies has passed the House Commerce Committee.
“This was a problem created by the federal government,” Stephens said. “Local ratepayers should not be bearing the costs to remove these contaminants.”
House Bill 1410
would redirect a portion of state tax revenue generated from the reuse of the former Willow Grove Naval Air Station and some land surrounding it to a newly created municipal authority, which would use the funds to eliminate the local surcharges ratepayers have been paying for clean water; to remediate water contamination caused by the military installation; and for infrastructure to encourage redevelopment of the closed military installation.
In addition, the legislation would direct PENNVEST to develop a program to address PFAS water contamination in communities across the Commonwealth. PENNVEST funds sewer, storm water and drinking water projects across Pennsylvania.
In 2006, the federal government closed several military bases around the country, including the Willow Grove Naval Air Station in Montgomery County. As a part of the process to transfer the land, the federal government discovered significant environmental issues, including contamination of the drinking water in some Montgomery and Bucks County communities caused by the use of firefighting foam at the military installation.
In removing contaminants from drinking water, local governments had to impose additional charges on ratepayers to fund their efforts.
House Bill 1410 now moves to the whole House for a vote.
“I urge my colleagues to move quickly on this bill to protect our ratepayers,” Stephens said.
Representative Todd Stephens
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: David Foster