Meuser Seeks Info On Stormwater Fee
U.S. Rep. Dan Meuser is seeking information from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on stormwater management regulations that resulted in a new fee on some properties in Luzerne County.
“Farmers and small businesses with much larger impervious areas on their properties are seeing higher fees that threaten their viability,” Meuser, R-9, Dallas, wrote in a letter to Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “For example, a constituent from Dallas, Pa., informed my office that her farm, which has a greenhouse on the property, is facing a $1,400 annual fee. Residents should not be shouldering the burden of this unfunded government mandate and I am seeking answers on how to alleviate these financial stressors.”
The new stormwater fee stems from a federal requirement to reduce pollution that drains into the Chesapeake Bay from the Susquehanna River.
The Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority is charging stormwater fees to landowners in 32 municipalities in Luzerne County to collect more than $8 million this year for stormwater-related services and projects.
The stormwater fee suddenly became a massive controversy last month after landowners began receiving bills and realized how much this new fee was going to cost. The amount depends on the amount of impervious surface area on property.
The fee is $12 a year for properties with 100 to 499 square feet of impervious area; $57.60 a year for properties with 500 and 6,999 square feet; and $20.40 a year for every 1,000 square feet for properties with at least 7,000 square feet of impervious area.
The Dallas Area Municipal Authority is charging stormwater fees in Dallas Twp., Dallas and Kingston Twp. DAMA this year is charging $60 for each equivalent dwelling unit assessed to a property and plans to calculate impervious areas next year. DAMA uses the equivalent-dwelling-unit assessment for sewage bills.
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