Wednesday, July 18, 2018

PennVEST Funds $92 Million In Water Infrastructure Projects In 13 Counties, Including Nonpoint Source; Lead Service Line Funding Change

Gov. Tom Wolf Wednesday announced the investment of $92 million for 19 drinking water, wastewater, stormwater, and nonpoint source projects in 13 counties through the PA Infrastructure Investment Authority.
PennVEST also adopted a change in policy to make its programs more attractive for lead service line replacement projects.
“The projects represented in today’s approvals continue our commitment to clean water for Pennsylvania.” said Gov. Wolf. “These projects benefit the environment, economic development and public health, as well as advance our shared goal of a clean and safe environment for our families to enjoy, both now and for years to come.”
The funding comes from a combination of state funds approved by voters, Growing Greener, Marcellus Legacy funds, federal grants to PennVEST from the Environmental Protection Agency, and recycled loan repayments from previous PennVEST funding awards.
Funds for the projects are disbursed after expenses for work have been paid and receipts are submitted to PennVEST.
Lead Line Replacement Incentive
In addition, PennVEST staff also introduced a policy modification aimed at making the program’s incentives more attractive for water utilities to utilize for lead service line replacement projects.
“The change in how we look at these types of projects, and how they impact those specific areas of concern, should result in funding packages that will best reflect the impact on those customers, and promote implementation of lead line replacements,” said Brion Johnson, PennVEST Executive Director.  
A modification to the affordability analysis associated with drinking water systems with lead line replacement projects seeks to promote these projects in the neighborhoods that can least afford the cost to replace the necessary piping.
Eligible projects are with utilities that have adequately mapped areas of concern with needed lead service line replacement work due to exceeding the safe levels in the drinking water provided to the customers.
Staff will base the funding upon neighborhoods, or clusters of customers rather than the entire system user base to determine the financial package.
Nonpoint Source Projects
PennVest funded 5 nonpoint source pollution control projects, including--
-- Armstrong County Conservation District received a $904,994 grant to implement the third phase of the drainage runoff management and infiltration facilities along the Armstrong Trail.
Lancaster County
-- Chester County Conservation District (Esh) received a $349,000 grant to cover costs related to manure storage, gravity flow manure transfer, cattle walkways, reception pit, reconstruction of a cattle crossing, surface inlets, underground outlets, and diversions to reduce run off into Octoraro Creek.
-- Chester County Conservation District (King) received a $334,000 grant to cover the costs related to construction of manure storage facilities, heavy use areas, walkways, and storm water controls to reduce the runoff into local streams.
-- Chester County Conservation District (Beiler) received a $307,000 grant to cover the costs related to construction of a manure storage facility, reception pit, gravel access, surface inlets, underground drains, and runoff controls to reduce runoff into the Octoraro Creek.
-- Northumberland County: Coal Township received a $1,467,908 grant to implement phase two of a streambank stabilization project. Work includes precast walls, re-grading, and rip-rap rock to reduce sediment loading of Carbon Run.
For more information on water infrastructure funding programs, including onlot septic systems, visit the PA Infrastructure Investment Authority website.
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