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NEW STUDY SHOWS PENNSYLVANIA TAXPAYERS TO BE HIT WITH $300 MILLION BILL FOR NEW EPA REGULATIONS

 EPA Told Sewer Rates and Taxes Will Go Up, Vital Services to be Cut
 Unless Regulations are Changed
 CHICAGO, Aug. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- A new study released today by the Great Lakes Water Quality Coalition shows that Pennsylvania taxpayers will be forced to pay more than $279,000,000 in higher sewer rates and taxes because of new regulations the U.S. EPA wants to impose on municipal waste water treatment plants.
 The preliminary study was released here today during testimony given at a public hearing on the EPA's proposed Great Lakes Initiative (GLI). Originally intended to harmonize waste water regulations across the eight Great Lakes states, the GLI is being widely criticized as ineffective and extremely costly to taxpayers and industrial employers. The proposed regulations are aimed at taxpayer-owned waste water treatment plants and industrial facilities located in the Great Lakes region.
 Operators of taxpayer-owned waste water plants throughout the region were surveyed by the Great Lakes Water Quality Coalition. A Washington- based economics consulting firm analyzed the data and combined it with cost estimates provided by U.S. EPA. The study concludes that conservatively, the GLI, as proposed, would cost municipalities in the region more than $7 billion in capital costs and $1 billion annually in additional operating costs.
 Today's report is the latest in a series of studies that underscore the GLI's high implementation costs. Another independent study conducted for the Council of Great Lakes Governors concluded that the GLI threatens 33,000 jobs and could cost employers in excess of $2 billion annually, while offering no significant environmental benefits.
 "We share your goals of continuing the environmental improvement of the Great Lakes," said Aleesa Bell, president of the Great Lakes Water Quality Coalition, an organization of more than 200 municipalities, industrial employers, chambers of commerce and agricultural interests that is seeking changes in the GLI. "But as several independent analyses have documented, the GLI is a flawed approach to achieving such goals."
 During her testimony Bell told the EPA that unless the GLI is modified, local leaders will be faced with cutting services such as police protection or raising taxes and utility rates.
 "Our local economies simply cannot stand additional financial blows, especially when higher tax bills and sewer rates bring little benefit," she added.
 Bell also released these state-by-state estimates of the GLI's cost to taxpayers and municipal utility customers in the Great Lakes states:
 State Capital Costs Annual Operating Costs
 Indiana $ 504,100,000 $ 66,270,000
 Michigan $3,208,650,000 $ 447,400,000
 Minnesota $ 141,800,000 $ 25,250,000
 Ohio $ 790,000,000 $ 103,000,000
 Pennsylvania $ 279,000,000 $ 58,750,000
 New York $1,432,380,000 $ 202,625,500
 Wisconsin $1,167,125,000 $ 190,886,000
 Total $7,523,055,000 $1,094,181,500
 In releasing today's report, the Great Lakes Water Quality Coalition challenged the EPA to fix the GLI and consider more effective and alternative approaches to reducing pollution and improving the water quality of the Great Lakes.
 The EPA is accepting comments from the public through mid-September.
 -0- 8/4/93
 /CONTACT: Brad Ritter of Paul Werth Associates, 614-341-7836, for the Great Lakes Water Quality Coalition/


CO: Great Lakes Water Quality Coalition ST: Pennsylvania IN: ENV SU:

AR -- CL011 -- 9382 08/04/93 12:34 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 4, 1993
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