The state Senate has approved landmark legislation, co-sponsored by Rep. Meghan Schroeder (R-Bucks), intended to remove local surcharges residents in contaminated areas have been paying for clean drinking water.
This measure will relieve associated costs constituents in Warminster, a large part of the 29th Legislative District, have been forced to pay to rid the water supply of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) chemicals caused by decades of firefighting foam use.
The man-made chemicals have permeated the water supply and surfaced in communities near military bases nationwide, as well as adjacent Warrington and Horsham. The law will allow affected communities, such as Hartsville, also in the 29th District, to access funds for infrastructure projects related to contamination.
“Our communities have been paying a hefty price for the removal of PFAS in their water and I am thrilled they will no longer have to fund the remediation process for safe, clean drinking water,” said Schroeder.
House Bill 1410 would redirect a portion of the state tax revenue generated from PFAS-impacted land and redevelopment close to the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Willow Grove (NASJRB) for the specific purpose of eliminating local surcharges residents are paying for water remediation and purchase.
After the federal government closed the NASJRB in Montgomery County in 2006, environmental issues and water contamination, due to firefighting foam used on the base, was discovered. This scenario was duplicated throughout communities near the Warminster Naval Air Station. Rather than the federal government funding remediation in these areas, local taxpayers have been paying for the delivery of clean water.
“In the absence of federal action to clean-up the contamination, it was necessary for the state to step in to protect public health and to relieve ratepayers and taxpayers of this ongoing burden,” Schroeder added.
House Bill 1410 is on the governor’s desk awaiting his signature.