From Rep. Mike Sturla's website, the legislation would "create a consumptive water usage fee, to require that those extraordinary non-agriculture and non-public municipal water withdrawals made within the Commonwealth, for commercial or industrial purposes greater than 10,000 gallons per day, be required to pay a 1/100th of a cent per gallon fee to the Commonwealth. Under my legislation, the Department of Environmental Protection will be tasked with the regulation and collection of the water resource fee. The monies collected will only be used for water preservation and conservation programs throughout the Commonwealth. DEP will assess where these monies are needed most and provide these funds to programs dedicated to the preservation and conservation of water resources within the Commonwealth.
"Section 27 of the Pennsylvania State Constitution states:
'The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania's public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people.'"
"This section of the State Constitution makes it clear that water withdrawn from the waterways of the Commonwealth are by right 'the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come.' And that government is obligated to protect and preserve this resource from harm as a 'trustee of those resources.' Pennsylvania’s waterways are impacted daily by massive withdrawals for the purposes of for profit business and industry, it is only fair that if this is to continue, that the Commonwealth benefit in the form of a fee that can be used to maintain this very resource."
Contact your representative in support of this important legislation. Preserving the quality of our rivers and streams is vital, both now and for the future.