—Reps. Todd Stephens (R-Montgomery), Todd Polinchock (R-Bucks), Meghan Schroeder (R-Bucks) and the Military Installation Remediation and Infrastructure Authority (MIRIA) today unveiled $12.4 million in PFAS remediation grants and $2.8 million in infrastructure grants for the economic development of the former Willow Grove Naval Air Station base.
“Today marks the culmination of a long and often arduous but successful journey because of the tremendous collaboration and dogged determination of so many people,” Stephens said. “These are the first grants provided by local state tax revenue for water providers to reimburse consumers who paid surcharges to remove PFAS from local water systems, install new filters to remove the dangerous chemicals and to connect homeowners with private wells contaminated with PFAS to clean, safe water supplies.”
MIRIA allocated just over $15 million-- nearly $12.5 million to address PFAS water contamination in Horsham, Upper Dublin, Warminster and Warrington Townships and $2.8 million in infrastructure to promote the redevelopment of the former Willow Grove Naval Air Station.
The water providers will use the money to build filters; connect homeowners with contaminated private wells to clean, safe public water systems; and to reimburse customers who paid surcharges to remove PFAS from their water.
“While we all worked together as legislators to pull this together, we cannot underestimate the important work of the communities that unified to find a solution to this crisis,” Polinchock said.
“This will not only help make our communities whole but will stand as an example of what can be accomplished when local and state government works together to accomplish the common goal of providing our residents with safe drinking water,” Schroeder said.
The grants were awarded as follows:
Ambler Water: $405,000.
Horsham Water and Sewer Authority: $6.45 million.
North Wales Water Authority: $3.34 million
Warminster Municipal Authority: $2.25 million.
The funds for the grants were taken from locally paid state taxes that, through a law introduced by Stephens, Polinchock and Schroeder, stayed in the community to reimburse consumers and municipalities that spent millions to remove PFAS from drinking water.
For decades, the former Willow Grove Naval Air Station conducted military training exercises using aqueous film-forming foam in firefighter training activities. This foam contained PFAS and contaminated the drinking water supplies in the area. The cost of removing the contaminants has been passed on to ratepayers.
PFAS substances were also commonly used in coating paper and cardboard packaging products, carpets, non-stick pans and textiles, as well as firefighting foams. These substances have been detected in air, water and soil in and around production manufacturing facilities, airports and military bases that used firefighting foams.
“Horsham Township has been an incredible partner in getting the MIRIA up and running by providing us staff, office space and startup funding,” Stephens said. “Our outstanding staff has worked tirelessly and cooperatively with our water provider partners at the Horsham Water and Sewer Authority, the Warminster Municipal Authority, the North Wales Water Authority and the Borough of Ambler to establish grant guidelines and procedures and ensuring the authority was fulfilling our obligations under the statute all in less than a year.”
Representative Todd Stephens
Representative Todd Polinchock
Representative Meghan Schroeder
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: David Foster