Harrisburg, PA – May 24, 2021 – Senator Lindsey M. Williams (D – Allegheny), Senator Maria Collett (D – Montgomery, Bucks) and Senator Katie Muth (D – Chester, Montgomery, Berks) today announced their intention to present legislation which will allocate $ 350 million from Pennsylvania’s share of US Federal Rescue Plan (ARP) funding for drinking water, sewer and stormwater infrastructure projects. This bill is part of the complete program of the Democratic Senate New Deal for Pennsylvania spending plan to invest $ 6.15 billion from the state’s share in ARP in our communities, working families and small businesses.
This bill will distribute the $ 350 million in grants through the Commonwealth Financing Authority’s (CFA) and PENNVEST’s incredibly popular Small Water and Sewer Projects program. Eligible projects will include the collection, treatment or disposal of wastewater, including industrial waste.
âAs our Commonwealth receives billions of dollars in federal funding to aid ongoing COVID recovery efforts, we as lawmakers have a unique opportunity and responsibility to address issues that are plaguing the health of Pennsylvanians – and to their wallets, âsaid Senator Collett.“Allocation of federal US bailout dollars for drinking water, sewage and stormwater projects will help ease the financial burden on our local governments and taxpayers who have long footed the bill for cleaning up pollutants like PFAS in my district – while strengthening the infrastructure necessary to maintain access to clean and safe drinking water for years to come. “
These grants can also be used to fund projects that address the growing challenges our communities face due to stormwater runoff and increased flooding. This runoff contributes to damage to individual property, increased pollution of our shared waterways, erosion and collapse of our infrastructure.
âOur watersheds and stormwater infrastructure are complex systems that affect the lives of every resident,â said Senator Williams. âThe same water that floods the roads of McCandless, cutting off residents from emergency services, comes downstream and can destroy homes and businesses on Etna if we don’t all work together. Allocating additional funds to ensure that our municipalities, water boards and watershed conservation groups can do this work is vital to the health and well-being of our families and communities.
“The waters of our Commonwealth are a shared and constitutionally protected resource for all Pennsylvanians,” said Senator Muth.âWhile it is our clear legal responsibility to do whatever we can to protect these waterways from undue contamination and pollution, it is also common sense. We all benefit from clean water and improving our stormwater management systems to limit damage from devastating weather events will significantly reduce the burden of repairs for future generations. These necessary investments will protect our environment, improve public health, and ease the burden of long-term costs associated with infrastructure failures following extreme storms. Putting these funds to good use today will only serve to improve our communities in the future and ensure that all Pennsylvanians have access to adequate infrastructure and safe drinking water.
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