From Senator Toomey's Office:
Taxpayers near Paxton Creek in Dauphin County will not be responsible for an expensive, unfunded mandate because of a decision by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Senator Pat Toomey announced. Harrisburg – along with Susquehanna, Penbrook, Lower Paxton, and Swatara Townships – are all located within the Paxton Creek Watershed.
Paxton Creek was mistakenly categorized by both the Commonwealth and the EPA in a bureaucratic way that may have made local compliance in the region cost prohibitive. The EPA and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) listed parts of the Paxton Creek Watershed area as impaired. The listing created massive uncertainty in the area because it was not clear what the costs of compliance would be for businesses and local townships in terms of stormwater mitigation. Specifically, townships were unsure of how to budget with the possibility of a massive unfunded mandate hanging over them. The DEP set the record straight in 2010 and the EPA has just now followed suit.
Last year, Senator Toomey brought together representatives of the EPA, DEP, Harrisburg mayor Linda Thompson, other local government officials, local builders, businesses, and neighbors to discuss the improper categorization of Paxton Creek. The Commonwealth provided the EPA with more information and data about the creek.
“This was truly an absurd case,” said Sen. Toomey. “It is good news that the EPA has finally seen the light and nearly three years after the DEP corrected its list of impaired streams, the federal regulators have gotten it right.”
Said Mark McNaughton, a former state representative, “Senator Toomey was instrumental in arranging a meeting of the affected parties and EPA to discuss the severe economic impacts to Central Pennsylvania should the decision to impose stringent environmental constraints without a scientific basis be allowed to remain in place. Without the direct involvement of Senator Toomey, an entire watershed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania would have received an economic growth death sentence.”