HARRISBURG — State Rep. Todd Stephens (R-151st) has announced that the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) board of directors has approved Pennsylvania’s first funding award pursuant to Act 101 of 2019, Stephens’ legislation to fund efforts to remediate per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a toxic contaminant found in water sources and systems throughout the Commonwealth.

Aqua Pennsylvania received the $5.2 million principal forgiveness award to construct a pre-treatment filtration plant for the area serviced by the North Hills well station including parts of Upper Dublin Township in Montgomery County. This project will proactively reduce the level of PFAS to zero parts per billion (ppb) for PFAS, which is a suspected carcinogen.

"This will alleviate the burden from Aqua ratepayers to remove the chemical from drinking water, while protecting public health by ensuring that our drinking water is free from dangerous PFAS," Stephens said in a statement.

"This is something I’ve fought hard for. Ratepayers should not have to bear the financial burden for removing these chemicals from their water," he said.

Stephens crafted the law that created both the Military Installation Remediation and Infrastructure Authority for mitigating the cost of cleaning PFAS caused by the military, and PENNVEST, for cleaning PFAS from other sources.

PFAS is a category of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances that include Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), found in the groundwater of communities near former military bases in Montgomery and Bucks counties. 

For years residents in the communities surrounding the former Willow Grove Naval Air Station in Horsham and the former Naval Air Development Center in Warminster were drinking water contaminated with PFAS, which have been linked to many illnesses, including cancer.

In the summer of 2019 Governor Tom Wolf pledged $3.8 million in state grant money to cover the costs of filtration systems to bring the levels of PFAS to nondetectable in public water systems, and in 2020 the newly created Military Installation Remediation and Infrastructure Authority announced a series of grants meant to reimburse water customers for surcharges that covered cleanup costs.

comments powered by Disqus