Protecting water quality

Two candidates will face off in the state’s 84th House District in the Nov. 8 general election.

Incumbent Rep. Garth Everett, R-Muncy, has held the office for six years. A lawyer, he previously was solicitor for a number of county townships and boroughs. He also is an Air Force veteran who attained the rank of lieutenant colonel.

He is being challenged by Chris Hughes of Montoursville, who is running as a write-in candidate. He is the owner of Fat Cat Vapor and previously was president of the state chapter of the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association.

The 84th Legislative District encompasses all of Lycoming County except for the city; the boroughs of DuBoistown, Montgomery and South Williamsport; and Armstrong, Clinton, Loyalsock, Old Lycoming, Susquehanna and Woodward townships. The district also includes Gregg Township and White Deer Township in Union County.

Q. What should the 84th Legislative District’s role be in response to pollution in the Chesapeake Bay?

Hughes: “I think that it is a grave concern. I really am not familiar with that issue.

“It will be something that I’m looking into and something that I’m concerned about, but I don’t think the taxpayers in our area should carry more than our fair share of burden on the expense of that.

“I think the drinking water in the county is fantastic. People come here all the time from out of town and they love the tap water around here.

“I think it does need to be protected. I know with the gas industry coming into town and the fracking, a lot of people are concerned about this having an affect on it, (but) I don’t think we’ve really seen that around here.”

Everett: “Lycoming County and the 84th District should continue to do what we have been doing, which is to some extent being a leader in the Chesapeake Bay and county water quality … We market this as local water quality issues. We have issues in the Susquehanna with bass and other issues. We should worry about cleaning up our watersheds and our waters … If it ultimately benefits the Chesapeake Bay, so much the better, but I think we need to look at it as local water quality issues and I hope that Lycoming County will continue to be a leader. I will try to continue to be a leader in water quality issues, because it benefits everybody …

“We have 86,000 miles of streams in Pennsylvania and 19,000 of those are listed as impaired, for various reasons.

“We need a dedicated fund that’s not part of the budget push and pull every year that we know is going to water quality across the state.”