Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Patriot News: Tapped Out, How PA's Drinking Water Program Is Hurting You; Lack Of Resources Is Putting Drinking Water For 10 Million People In PA At Risk

By Wallace McKelvey, Patriot News, WMckelvey@pennlive.com 

We take two things for granted every time we turn on a faucet: First, water will come out. Second, it won't make us sick.
In Pennsylvania, we can no longer make such assumptions. For years, inspectors charged with ensuring safe drinking water struggled to do their jobs amid repeated budget cuts. That meant many water utilities received little to no scrutiny.
And the utilities themselves struggled to keep up with the cost to maintain and operate their delivery and treatment systems. Combined, these factors risk the health of some 10 million Pennsylvanians who rely on public water systems.
"Tapped Out" examines the failures of Pennsylvania's aging water infrastructure and the regulatory system designed to protect the public.
Click Here to read the full special investigation report from the Patriot News.
“This story does an excellent job pointing out the issues in DEP's Safe Drinking Water Program in a thoughtful way quoting people that really know what the deal is.
“Unfortunately, this same thing is happening in ALL of DEP's programs, that is going through triage to figure out what the most important thing DEP has to do to protect public health and the environment and drop the rest because DEP simply just doesn't have the resources.
“These issues can be addressed with the right leadership.  This year Gov. Wolf asked the General Assembly to provide additional funding for 35 new DEP positions and he got it.
“While DEP's support from the General Fund is just above 1994-95 levels, this is a start and more targeted requests need to be made, particularly in programs related to protecting and restoring water quality and meeting Chesapeake Bay cleanup requirements.”
-- David Hess, former DEP Secretary
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