DEP proposing new fees to add drinking water inspectors

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The Department of Environmental Protection is looking to increase the number of inspectors they have, to ensure drinking water in the state is safe.

Pennsylvania currently has just one inspector for every 149 public water systems.

The DEP’s proposal would increase fees for new or amended permits, and impose annual fees on community and non-community water systems, potentially raising $7.5 million in additional funds, allowing them to add 33 new positions.

For area rate payers, that would translate to an annual increase of up to ten dollars per person, per year.

“We want to make sure that we are keeping close tabs on public drinking water supplies, and making sure everything is clean and safe,” said Neil Shader, Press Secretary with the Department of Environmental Protection.

Shader also says the proposal will take roughly two years to take effect, though they are looking at ways at bringing in extra inspectors sooner than that.

A public comment period will be announced once a draft of the new fees package is finalized, which officials expect to happen in the next few weeks.

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