|Posted:||June 19, 2015 02:11 PM|
|From:||Representative Mark Mustio|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Amending the Borough Code to Authorize Assessment of Reasonable and Uniform Storm Water Fees to Prevent an Unfunded Mandate|
Similar to my recently introduced bill amending the Second Class Township Code (HB 1325), I plan to introduce legislation that amends the Borough Code to authorize a borough 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 Borough Code does not, despite the borough being the entity that is ultimately responsible for complying with Federal MS4 regulations.
My legislation will authorize a borough to assess reasonable and uniform fees based in whole or in part on characteristics of the subject property, which may include installation and maintenance of storm water facilities that meet best management practices approved and inspected by the borough. 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.
While boroughs may incorporate 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, it is overly burdensome to require a borough that already has the power to construct and manage a storm water system under Article 22 of the Borough 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 borough council’s 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 boroughs to impose a fee for storm water management, it becomes an unfunded mandate on our boroughs.
Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.
Introduced as HB1394