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Governor's Task Force Cites PA's $36.5 Billion Water Infrastructure Need; Report Underscores Call for Additional Investments
Date:10/31/2008

Voters Asked to Approve $400 Million Election Day Bond Referendum to Support Water, Sewage Systems

HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 31 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Edward G. Rendell pointed to a report issued today that measures the unmet financial needs of Pennsylvania's deteriorating water and sewer infrastructure and warns of an impending crisis unless the state significantly changes the way it funds these systems.

The report, compiled by the Sustainable Water Infrastructure Task Force that Governor Rendell convened earlier this year, found the commonwealth's drinking water and wastewater systems face $36.5 billion in capital repairs and upgrades over the next 20 years.

With a few days before Pennsylvanians are set to vote on a bond referendum that would make $400 million available for water and sewer system repairs, the Governor said the findings further validate the need to make this investment now in order to protect public health and respond to population and job growth.

"More than 10 million Pennsylvanians depend on the promise of clean and safe drinking water every day, but many of our water systems and miles of water and sewer pipes are nearing the end of their useful lives," said Governor Rendell. "The challenge confronting us is not just a matter of finding the dollars to rehabilitate our aging infrastructure. We need to break the historic pattern of investing sporadically in these systems with no long-term funding solutions. This approach leads us into a situation like the one we find ourselves in now--where much-needed system maintenance and repairs are put off until a later time and creates additional expenses and a backlog of unmet needs."

The 30-member task force of business leaders, legislators, government officials and industry experts created work groups to gather and analyze information on existing water infrastructure and examine possible solutions to funding capital repairs and upgrades to drinking water a
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor
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