Wolf admin announces $236M for water infrastructure projects | Thursday Morning Coffee

Fifteen counties will share in the money, which is a mix of state and federal funds

By: - October 20, 2022 7:10 am
Interior of a wastewater pipe

(Getty Images)

Fifteen Pennsylvania counties will share in a $236 million windfall that will provide funding — through grants and loans — for 23 water quality projects statewide, the Wolf administration said Wednesday.

The mix of federal and state money, funneled through the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority, or PENNVEST, will pay for a blend of drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater projects stretching from Pittsburgh to the Philadelphia suburbs, the administration said in a statement.

The awards announced Wednesday, which includes money from the bipartisan infrastructure law, “[marks] a historic occasion,” Gov. Tom Wolf said, creating “generational change in improving our environment and planning for future growth.”

The money will pay for, among other projects:

  • A $5.9 million loan to the Walker Township Water Association in Centre County to pay for the construction of an “above-ground booster station with new waterlines to direct flow, variable frequency drives to adjust pump speed, and a chlorination skid to maintain chlorine residual,” the administration said.
  • A $3.09 million loan and a nearly $15 million grant to the Erie City Water Authority to pay for the replacement of “approximately 2,700 service connections consisting of cast iron pipe attached to water mains by lead goosenecks,” the administration said, noting that the project will “eliminate the risk of lead contamination throughout the service area and increase reliability of service.”
  • A more than $2.2 million loan to the Hazleton City Authority to build a new booster pump station near the intersections of state Routes 424 and 309 in Hazle Township. The project will “contribute to a more sustainable water capacity and increased water pressure for a developing portion of the service area,” the administration said.
  • A $46 million loan to the Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority to replace some 3,600 catch basins and inlets that collect storm water. The project will replace “failing sewer system infrastructure that is approximately 100 years old and will address a corrective action plan issued by the [state] Department of Environmental Protection,” the administration said.

In that same statement, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., called clean water “the lifeblood of any community,” and said the projects will “help children grow and families thrive by providing safe drinking water and improving water infrastructure to protect public health.”

The infusion of cash is “just the beginning of water infrastructure funding coming to Pennsylvania thanks to federal investments and the infrastructure law,” Casey added.

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John L. Micek
John L. Micek

A 3-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's Editor-in-Chief. An award-winning political reporter, Micek’s career has taken him from small town meetings and Chicago City Hall to Congress and the Pennsylvania Capitol. His weekly column on U.S. politics is syndicated to 800 newspapers nationwide by Cagle Syndicate. He also contributes commentary and analysis to broadcast outlets in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Micek’s first novel, “Ordinary Angels,” was released in 2019 by Sunbury Press.

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