Jan. 15, 2020

HARRISBURG – State Representatives Karen Boback (R-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Wyoming) and Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) recently met with an administrator from the Environmental Protection Agency to discuss, among other topics, the stormwater runoff fee that many Pennsylvanians have noticed on their sewer bills.

EPA Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio recently traveled to Harrisburg to meet with Boback and members of the House Environmental Resources & Energy Committee, of which Metcalfe is Majority Chairman.

In 2010, the EPA ordered states in Region 3 (which includes Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia) to reduce storm water runoff into the Chesapeake Bay. Each state is permitted to devise its own funding method for this initiative.

In parts of the 117th District, for instance, municipal sanitation authorities have imposed a fee to fund the federal pollution reduction mandates, as the nearby Susquehanna River flows into the Chesapeake Bay. However, residents have increasingly expressed disapproval of the so-called “rain tax.”

“The inherent unfairness of penalizing homeowners and businesses for something as uncontrollable as the weather can hardly be overstated,” Boback said. “Nor can it be reasoned that punishing property owners for having rooftops and driveways is in any way a constructive solution to the problem at hand. If it is a federal mandate, it should be paid for with federal funds. It is unconscionable that homeowners should fear a lien being placed on their property to finance a tax they neither voted for nor wanted.”

“Although it is a federal mandate, those of us in public office need to continue to shine a light on its ramifications,” Boback continued. “I am grateful to Representative Metcalfe for holding a hearing and a follow-up meeting on a subject that is of crucial importance to the constituents of my district.”

“There is without question a consistent and troubling trend of ruthlessly advancing exponential fee increases, and in this case the rain tax, that trickle through every level of government,” Metcalfe said. “I will continue my fight to ensure that state regulations encourage, rather than discourage, the entrepreneurial spirit of hard-working job creators, while protecting the health, wealth and safety of all Pennsylvania taxpayers.”

Generally, stormwater fees are based on the number of impervious surfaces such as driveways, sidewalks and rooftops on a given property that fail to absorb rainwater and therefore contribute to stormwater runoff.

Representative Karen Boback
117th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Michael Plummer

Representative Daryl Metcalfe
12th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Ty McCauslin