Sep. 04, 2020

HARRISBURG—Rep. Todd Stephens (R-Montgomery) today announced the first grants approved under the Military Installation Remediation and Infrastructure Authority (MIRIA) to reimburse water utility customers for surcharges used to fund water remediation projects.

“These funds will help fulfill the promise to local water customers who paid surcharges to water utilities to offset the costs of cleaning the PFAS from water systems,” Stephens said. “This is why I created the legislation to help the utility customers who carried the costs of removing PFAS from our drinking water.

Today, MIRIA formally approved the following grants:

   • Horsham Water & Sewer Authority-- $1,432,917
   • North Wales Water Authority-- $742,691
   • Warminster Municipal Authority—$500,000

The money will benefit customers of the Warminster Municipal Authority Water, which had to purchase PFAS-free water; North Wales Water Authority customers for the cost of delivering PFAS-free water to customers; and Horsham Water and Sewer Authority will be able to reimburse customers for surcharges used to address PFAS contamination in privately owned drinking water wells. Additional grants will be announced later in the year.

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 County 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.

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 and recurring funding to eliminate PFAS from drinking water.

Representative Todd Stephens
151st District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: David Foster