May. 16, 2019

HARRISBURG—Rep. Todd Stephens (R-Montgomery) has introduced legislation to eliminate local surcharges that ratepayers are paying to remove PFAS from local drinking water supplies.

“The federal government is responsible for the contamination, yet local ratepayers and taxpayers have been bearing the costs to remove these harmful contaminants,” Stephens said.

House Bill 1410 would redirect a portion of state tax revenue generated on and around the former Willow Grove Naval Air Station 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.

To protect public health, local communities worked to remove these contaminants from drinking water but had to impose additional charges on ratepayers to fund their efforts.

“The federal government polluted our water and our ratepayers are footing the bill to clean it up - this is completely unfair and must stop,” explained Stephens. “My bill will fund the cleanup efforts so local ratepayers don’t have to and will help provide the infrastructure necessary to return the land to productive use for our community.”

Representative Todd Stephens
151st District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: David Foster