The PA Environmental Council Friday sent a letter of support to the General Assembly for House Resolution 908 (Everett-R-Lycoming), which would direct the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to conduct an exploratory study on industrial and commercial water withdrawal fees.
The resolution does not create or mandate any such fee.
Pennsylvania faces extensive watershed restoration challenges, resulting from both legacy and existing pollution sources. If the Commonwealth fails to address these issues, it will soon find itself subject to federal or judicial mandates.
Without question, finding the resources necessary to address this extraordinary problem is a significant challenge — one that requires thorough and thoughtful consideration. Regardless of outcome, House Resolution 908 is a step in the right direction toward advancing that consideration.
The text of PEC’s letter of support to Rep. Garth Everett, the prime sponsor of the resolution, follows--
On behalf of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC), I want to offer our support for House Resolution 908, which directs the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to conduct a study on water use fees for water quality management and improvement.
As you have strongly acknowledged through this resolution and your service with the Chesapeake Bay Commission, the need for enhanced investment in restoring and protecting water quality, not only in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, but statewide, is critical. Pennsylvania is obligated, pursuant to our own constitution and state and federal law, to address pollution to our waterways.
As demonstrated by compliance with the Chesapeake Bay alone, the costs of legacy and current impairment vastly exceed current resources and investment. If Pennsylvania does not provide leadership in these areas, the federal government will impose a solution that Commonwealth taxpayers are not likely to embrace.
A study developed pursuant to House Resolution 908 would provide the proper basis to determine whether a fee on water use or consumption is appropriate for meeting water management needs throughout the Commonwealth.
Thank you for your leadership on water protection in the Commonwealth. We hope H.R. 908 will be approved by the House before the end of the current legislative session.
Senior Vice President, Legal & Government Affairs
The Resolution is in the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee for consideration.
Rep. John Maher (R-Allegheny) serves as Majority Chair of the House Environmental Committee and can be contacted by sending email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Rep. Greg Vitali (D-Delaware) serves as Minority Chair and can be contacted by sending email to: email@example.com.
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