Stephens’ Bill to Eliminate Water Surcharge and Fund PFC Cleanup for Upper Dublin and Neighboring Towns Gains House Approval
10/12/2018
HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives Thursday approved Rep. Todd Stephens’ (R-Montgomery) legislation creating a remediation program to address the costs involved with clean up of the land and water at the former Willow Grove Naval Air Station in Horsham Township.

“Horsham residents shouldn’t be forced to pay a surcharge for safe water,” said Stephens. “And anyone impacted by the contamination the federal government caused at the former Willow Grove Naval Air Station should be guaranteed safe water. Although my colleagues and I have demanded the federal government take responsibility for the clean up countless times, their failure will not become ours, and I’ve taken action to aid our local residents.”

House Bill 2638 creates a Military Installation Remediation Authority comprised of appointees from the speaker of the House, the president pro temp of the Senate and three local organizations. A remediation fund created by the state treasurer funded by state tax revenues redirected from local parcels would fund the efforts.

More than a decade ago, the federal government closed several military bases, including the Willow Grove Naval Air Station in Horsham. As part of the process to transfer the land, the federal government discovered significant environmental issues, including contamination of the public drinking water in Horsham and surrounding municipalities caused by the use of firefighting foam.

In 2016, Stephens was the first public official to call for a zero-tolerance policy regarding the dangerous chemicals found in the drinking water. Horsham Township developed a plan to ensure the drinking water is safe and Stephens secured state funds to finance the capital improvements to remove the chemicals from the drinking water. Despite the fact the damage was caused by the federal government, local taxpayers and ratepayers have borne the ongoing costs for remediation, and other municipalities like Upper Dublin are still receiving polluted water originating at the Willow Grove Naval Air Station. Additionally, the environmental issues have delayed plans for redevelopment of the base.

“Not only are local citizens saddled with paying to clean the water, but they are also stuck with the contaminated, unusable land,” said Stephens. “Development of the property could add significantly to the tax rolls and provide additional job opportunities in the area, and this legislation makes that possible.”

House Bill 2638 now goes to the state Senate for consideration.

Representative Todd Stephens
151st District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: David Foster
267.207.0207
dfoster@pahousegop.com
RepToddStephens.com / Facebook.com/RepToddStephens


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