Proposal Examines Fees for Industrial Use of Pennsylvania's Water Resources
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports on an effort in Harrisburg to impose a new fee for the “consumptive use” of water. It would impact industries like gas drillers and bottled water companies.
Pennsylvania is estimated to have more than 86,000 miles of streams, 4,000 lakes and 80 trillion gallons of groundwater.
Right now the state doesn’t receive any compensation when water is removed or degraded. From the Post-Gazette:
The bottled water industry, for instance, pays nothing to remove it from the state’s waterways. It treats and packages water and ships much of it out of the state. The Marcellus Shale industry also extracts water for free. The process of hydraulic fracturing pumps much of it so far below the water table it is rendered forever unusable. Other industries make similar permanent use of water.
The bi-partisan proposal, Senate Resolution 39, was put forward in March. It would allocate money to study the issue and estimate the structure of revenue-generating fees.