Nov. 19, 2019

Legislation goes to governor for signature
HARRISBURG—Landmark 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 Senate and now moves to Gov. Tom Wolf for his signature.

“I want to thank the members of the Senate for acting quickly to pass my legislation,” Stephens said. “Our ratepayers are bearing the costs of removing these contaminants even though this was a problem caused by the federal government. That is simply unfair.”

Wolf has endorsed Stephens’ bill and promised to sign it into law. This is the first bill enacted in Pennsylvania to provide dedicated funding to eliminate PFAS from drinking water.

House Bill 1410 would redirect a portion of state tax revenue generated from the reuse of the former Willow Grove Naval Air Station and 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 and to remediate water contamination caused by the military installation. It would also be used 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.

In transferring the land, the federal government discovered significant environmental issues, including contamination of the drinking water in some Montgomery and Bucks County communities caused by firefighting foam at the military installation.

Faced with insufficient federal action, local governments had no choice but to impose surcharges on ratepayers to fund cleanup efforts.

“I want to thank everyone who fought so hard to make this all possible,” Stephens said.

Representative Todd Stephens
151st District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: David Foster