Board Also Moves to Develop Brownfields Funding Program
The Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) Board of Directors approved $76.3 million in low-interest loans and $8.7 million in grants to fund 31 drinking water, wastewater and storm water projects to serve communities in 23 counties across the commonwealth. The grants were targeted at seven prohibitively expensive projects to bring them within the financial reach of their customers.
The PENNVEST Board also moved to enhance Governor Rendell's economic development and sound land use goals by initiating the development of a brownfields funding program, which will be crafted by the administrative staff over the next few months and presented to the Board for its consideration and adoption at the scheduled Nov. 19, 2003 meeting.
Board Chair Joe Manko underscored the importance of this initiative to the Governor's vision for a revitalized Pennsylvania. He noted that similar initiatives are underway in both the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and that PENNVEST's financial resources can play an important role in enhancing these efforts.
DEP Secretary Kathleen A. McGinty and DCNR Secretary Michael DiBerardinis, who also sit on the PENNVEST Board, concurred with Mr. Manko and pledged their departments' cooperation in developing and implementing PENNVEST's brownfields program.
The state funding approved at today's Board meeting ranges from $180,200 to fund the installation of drinking water distribution lines that will provide a safe water supply to a community in Washington County where wells are contaminated by nearby malfunctioning on-lot septic systems; to more than $10 million to construct 36 miles of collection lines and force mains for a community in Beaver County where on-lot septic systems are discharging raw sewage into publicly assessable areas and various tributaries of the Beaver River.
The funding for the projects brings PENNVEST'S total funding for community water, sewer and storm water projects to more than $3.2 billion since the program's inception.