Stormwater fees discussed in Harrisburg

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Many people in our area may have to pay more due to new stormwater fees. Those fees are due to municipalities having to meet new Clean Water Act requirements from the EPA and were the topic of a joint hearing in Harrisburg. Eyewitness News State Capitol reporter Matt Heckel has more.

Wednesday the Environmental Resources and Energy and Local Government committees held a joint hearing on how those fees are impacting local communities. The new fees being imposed on residents in several Pennsylvania municipalities are due to stormwater requirements administered by the DEP.

“This is hitting so many of our communities across the state,” Republican Representative and Local Government committee chair Dan Moul said.

Some boroughs forced to charge stormwater management fees in order to comply with requirements like having erosion and sediment controls and prohibiting non-storm water discharges.

“I’m a guy that likes to make sure taxpayer money is spent extremely wisely. I’m not a guy that just takes taxpayer money and throws it at something and hopes that you get a good result,” Moul said.

Others though say upgrades to stormwater management are, in fact, necessary.

“I think why we’re putting communities through this burden is so we don’t pollute the rivers and streams that we fish and boat and stream and drink from,” Democrat Representative and Environmental Resources and Energy committee chair Greg Vitali said.

“When I left my district Sunday to go to Harrisburg, there were signs lined up. ‘End the rain tax,'” Republican Representative and House Bill 781 sponsor Karen Boback said.

Boback has introduced Senate Bill 781 to allow some counties to use funds gathered from the fracking impact fee to pay for stormwater management.

“House Bill 781 would allow these counties to use some of the future impact funds to offset the very expensive and currently unfunded federal mandate,” Boback said.

That bill is currently in committee.


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