Frequently Asked Questions
WHY WAS MIRIA CREATED?
Local communities in close proximity to the former NAS-JRB Willow Grove and the former Johnsville Naval Air Warfare Center have been negatively impacted by PFAS contamination in local water supplies as a result of the use of aqueous film forming foam (“AFFF”) in fire fighting activities and exercises. These communities, their municipal water suppliers and their residents have been required to spend many millions of dollars on remediation efforts and systems, to protect the health and welfare of their communities. In some instances, the Navy and the Air National Guard have assisted financially in these efforts but by no means have these communities been made whole on remediation costs.
Act 101 of 2019 provided a funding mechanism to reimburse municipal water providers and their ratepayers for unreimbursed water remediation costs, for higher rates and surcharges that may have been passed on to the ratepayers due to the cost of remediation efforts, and provides a source of funding to connect residents whose private wells were impacted with PFC contamination as a result of their proximity to the bases. In addition to funding water remediation costs, MIRIA also creates a dedicated funding source for economic development and infrastructure investments in Horsham Township.
WHO BENEFITS FROM MIRIA?
We all do! Everyone in proximity to the former bases, whether local governments, local municipal water providers, ratepayers, residents, Businesses and their employees... We all do. The funding mechanism provided by the MIRIA reimburses us all for remediation costs and helps defray remediation systems costs today and into the future.
Beyond water remediation costs, MIRIA also provides a dedicated funding source for economic development and infrastructure projects in and around Horsham Township. Dedicated funding for economic development and infrastructure should translate into a more vibrant community in and around Horsham Township in the future.
WHAT & WHERE IS THE MIRIA ZONE?
Act 101 of 2019 by statute, provides certain parcels in Horsham Township may be part of the zone (“MIRIA Zone”) where PA State Tax Revenue generated on those parcels may be made available to MIRIA.
The MIRIA Zone consists of;
13 parcels of about 870 acres that were part of the former NAS-JRB Willow Grove base property.
31 parcels encompassing about 836 acres where development rights were restricted as a result of their proximity to NAS-JRB Willow Grove.
14 parcels or about 80 acres in Horsham Township that were designated by the MIRIA. Designated parcels may be underutilized or under-valued parcels that may be in close proximity to the NAS-JRB Willow Grove base property or in other areas of Horsham Township where revitalization may be warranted.
In total, 65 parcels with about 1,798 acres in Horsham Township.
WHEN IS THE MIRIA ZONE BENEFIT RECEIVED?
Businesses located in MIRIA Zone parcels must report the amount of state taxes paid once a year, in the months of July or August. Reporting is completed by the use of a Pennsylvania State Revenue Department website. The MIRIA will receive the funding of the state taxes paid by businesses in MIRIA Zone parcels in mid-December of each year. Shortly thereafter, the MIRIA will provide grant funding to eligible municipalities or municipal authorities for eligible costs or projects.
HOW MUCH FUNDS WILL THE MIRIA ZONE GENERATE EACH YEAR?
In its initial year of operation, MIRIA was awarded $15,473,533 in state funding and in turn awarded $12,445,238 in grants to local water providers to reimburse customers for PFAS surcharges and to fund various local clean water projects. Additionally, about $2.9 million in funding was committed to economic development and infrastructure projects in Horsham Township. Funding each cycle is expected to vary depending on a variety of factors, including the strength of general economic activity, employment levels in the MIRIA Zone, and the level of redevelopment in the MIRIA Zone.