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) announced today that they plan to introduce legislation that will allocate $350 million of Pennsylvania’s share of funding from the federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) for clean water, sewer, and stormwater infrastructure projects. This legislation is part of the Senate Democratic Caucus’s comprehensive New Deal for Pennsylvania spending plan to invest $6.15 billion of the state’s share of the ARP in our communities, working families, and small businesses.
This legislation will distribute the $350 million as grant funding through the incredibly popular Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) small water and sewage projects program and PENNVEST. Eligible projects will include collection, treatment, or disposal of wastewater, including industrial waste.
“As our Commonwealth receives billions in federal funding to aid ongoing COVID recovery efforts, we as legislators have a unique opportunity and responsibility to address the issues harming Pennsylvanians’ health – and their wallets,” said Senator Collett.“Allocating federal American Rescue Plan dollars for clean water, sewer, and stormwater projects will help relieve the financial burden incurred on our local governments and taxpayers who have long footed the bill to clean up pollutants like PFAS in my district – all while shoring up the infrastructure necessary to maintain clean, safe drinking water access for years to come.”
These grants can also be used to fund projects that address the increasing challenges that our communities are facing from stormwater runoff and increased flooding. This runoff contributes to individual property damage, increased pollution in our shared waterways, and erosion and collapse of our infrastructure.
“Our watersheds and stormwater infrastructure are complex systems that affect the lives of every single resident,” said Senator Williams. “The same water that floods roads in McCandless, cutting residents off from emergency services, comes downstream and can destroy homes and businesses in Etna if we don’t all work together. Allocating additional funding to ensure that our municipalities, water authorities, and watershed preservation groups can do this work is vital to the health and well-being of our families and our communities.”
“The waters of our Commonwealth are a shared and Constitutionally protected resource for all Pennsylvanians,” said Senator Muth.“While it is our clear legal responsibility to do all that we can to protect these waterways from undue contamination and pollution, it is also just plain common sense. All of us benefit from clean water and improving our stormwater management systems to limit the damage caused by devastating climate driven weather events will greatly reduce the burden of repair for future generations. These necessary investments will protect our environment, improve public health, and lessen the burden of long term costs associated with infrastructure failures following extreme storms. Making good use of these funds today will only serve to improve our communities well into the future and ensure that all Pennsylvanians have access to adequate infrastructure and quality drinking water.”