Griffith Speaks Out Against Stormwater Fee

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WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Another legal salvo is being fired in the battle against the controversial stormwater fee in Luzerne County.

The federally mandated fee has caused outrage and a lot of questions across the commonwealth and here in our region. Luzerne County Council member Walter Griffith has joined the opposition to the stormwater fee. He admits it’s a big challenge, but one he insists has to be taken on.

“It is clearly a David versus Goliath battle but we have to start somewhere,” said Griffith.

Walter Griffith says he is not naive about the fight to stop the stormwater fee also known as the rain tax.

“My resolution says we file injunction against the Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority, the Dallas Area Municipal Authority, the Federal Government, the State DEP and the EPA,” said Griffith.

The fee is designed to pay for projects that will reduce the amount of pollution that enters waterways that eventually ends up in the Chesapeake Bay.

Luzerne County Council Member Walter Griffith speaks with Andy Mehalshick about The Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority’s controversial storm water fee.

“It’s highly unfair. I mean I think the ability of the municipalities to clear our streets, the catch basins is already in our municipal taxes,” Griffith said.

Griffith’s injunction is the latest legal action taken against the stormwater fee. A citizens group, Taxpayer Power formed in 2019 is raising money to file a lawsuit to stop implementation of the fee.

Rich Manta is part of that group.

“We are going to have this fight brought to the front of everybody’s mind so we can join the 32 municipals together to fight the contract they bound these people in,” Manta said.

County attorneys are researching the law to make sure the county can indeed file a court injunction. If it can county council will vote on it next week. A spokesperson for the WVSA tells Eyewitness News they are following a federal mandate and saving communities money by working together on fulfilling that mandate.

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