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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: June 1, 2015 04:21 PM
From: Representative Mark Mustio
To: All House members
Subject: Amending the Second Class Township Code to Authorize Assessment of Reasonable and Uniform Storm Water Fees to Prevent an Unfunded Mandate
In the near future, I will introduce legislation that amends the Second Class Township Code to authorize a township to assess reasonable and uniform fees for storm water management activities and facilities without the need to establish a municipal authority. The Municipality Authorities Act authorizes a storm water authority to impose a fee but the Second Class Township Code does not, despite the township being the entity that is ultimately responsible for complying with Federal MS4 regulations.

My legislation will authorize a second class township to assess reasonable and uniform fees based in whole or in part on property characteristics, which may include installation and maintenance of best management practices approved and inspected by the township. The legislation will also authorize the enactment and enforcement of ordinances to govern and regulate the planning, management, implementation, construction and maintenance of storm water facilities.

Many townships are considering or have incorporated storm water authorities in order to establish a fee for funding the additional work that must be done to comply with Federal regulations under the Clean Water Act. However, it is overly burdensome to require a township that already has the power to construct and manage a storm water system under Article 27 of the Second Class Township Code to in effect create another layer of government in order to implement a fee to fund the operation and maintenance of that system. My legislation holds those who implement the fee accountable to those who will be required to pay it. If the public is not happy with the township supervisors’ decision to impose a storm water fee, it can voice its opinion at the ballot box.

Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ordered 85 townships and boroughs in Pennsylvania to improve their storm water management programs. http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/90829d899627a1d98525735900400c2b/7d5440b5ed7f309885257d010065f753!OpenDocument.

If an EPA audit determines that a municipality does not comply with the mandated Federal regulations, any fine that is levied can have a negative financial impact on the municipality.
Without statutory authorization for townships to impose a fee for storm water management, it becomes an unfunded mandate on our townships.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as HB1325