May. 19, 2020

HARRISBURG—Rep. Todd Stephens (R-Montgomery), chairman of the Military Installation Remediation and Infrastructure Authority (MIRIA), announced today that five grant applications have been received from local water providers seeking funds to reimburse water customers for the cost of cleaning PFAS from local water, to install filters on water systems and to connect customers with contaminated private wells to clean water systems.

“I’m thrilled to see such great interest in this innovative new program,” said Stephens.

Act 101 of 2019, crafted by Stephens, created the MIRIA to help water providers address PFAS contamination. State tax revenue generated on or around the former Willow Grove Naval Air Station is redirected to the locally-based authority. This was the first bill enacted in Pennsylvania to provide dedicated funding to eliminate PFAS from drinking water.

“These applications are the first step in reimbursing water customers for the surcharges and fees they paid to address PFAS in drinking water in Horsham, Warrington and Warminster, to connect private well owners to clean, safe public drinking water systems and to provide funds allowing other water providers to eliminate PFAS from their drinking water systems,” explained Stephens.

The applications include:

• Ambler Borough-- $270,000 to connect two wells to the PFAS remediation system.
• Warminster Water-- $2.5 million to cover the cost of purchasing PFAS-free water.
• North Wales Water Authority (serving Warrington Township) -- $3.7 million to reimburse customers for the cost of delivering PFAS-free water.
• Horsham Water and Sewer Authority -- $3.3 million to reimburse surcharges and to address PFAS contamination in privately-owned drinking water wells

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.

Representative Todd Stephens
151st District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: David Foster