WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senators Arlen Specter and Bob Casey announced that the U.S. Congress has passed an appropriations bill that includes millions in federal funding for several Pennsylvania interior and environmental projects. The funding is contained in the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2010 which passed both the House and Senate on Thursday. The bill will now be sent to the President for his signature.
The bill includes funding for several sewage and wastewater programs, as well as funding for the Department of Interior to construct the Flight 93 Memorial and to protect a National Wildlife Refuge and other pristine land.
“I am pleased Congress has recognized the importance of these Pennsylvania projects,” Senator Specter said. “This funding will help Pennsylvania to improve and maintain important infrastructure programs, as well as enrich future generations by preserving Pennsylvania’s rich natural heritage.”
"This money is great news for Pennsylvania and I am pleased that Congress approved funding for these projects throughout the Commonwealth,” said Senator Casey. “I will continue working with Senator Specter to build critical infrastructure and protect our natural resources.”
Pennsylvania projects in the bill include:
• $725,000 for the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, PA to help fulfill the Federal funding obligation and ensure that the Memorial will be dedicated by the 10-year anniversary in 2011. The funding will be for construction of the Memorial. In 2002, Congress authorized the Flight 93 National Memorial in Somerset, PA to honor the 40 passengers and crewmembers of United Airlines Flight 93, who gave their lives to save countless others on September 11, 2001.
• $1.82 million for the National Park Service to acquire forested land contiguous to the Appalachian National Scenic Trail in Cumberland County, PA. These lands help protect the community’s drinking water recharge area and the cold water fishery of the Yellow Breeches Creek.
• $750,000 for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to acquire land within the Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge in Monroe and Northampton Counties. Cherry Valley is a stream valley at the base of the Kittatinny Ridge and was designated a National Wildlife Refuge in December 2008. The requested funding will be used to acquire land including habitat along Cherry Creek critical to the endangered bog turtle, the headwaters of Cherry Creek, and forest land along Kittatinny Ridge.
• $300,000 for the Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corporation for sewage replacement in the Westmoreland Business and Research Park. This project will build a pump station extending a sewer line that will permit the closing of the inadequate sewage treatment plant that currently services the Business and Research Park.
• $500,000 for the City of Reading for renovation and modernization of the City’s wastewater treatment works on Fritz Island. Upgrading of the city’s wastewater infrastructure is necessary in order to comply with a Department of Justice Clean Water Act Consent Decree.
• $225,000 for the York City Sewer Authority. Funding will be used for construction of a new headworks facility at their wastewater treatment works, which is necessary for York to be in compliance with the Chesapeake Bay clean up initiative.
• $225,000 for the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority’s Three Rivers Wet Weather Demonstration Program to fix municipal sewers, protect the region’s water quality and augment the investment of local governments in compliance with the Clean Water Act. This is accomplished through cultivating inter-municipal cooperation among 82 municipalities, targeted investments and technical innovations emanating from the program. Currently, the Pittsburgh region is facing its largest and most costly public works project thus far, which will result in the rehabilitation and long-term maintenance of 4,000 miles sewers that serve nearly one million residents in the area.
• $225,000 for the Uptown Worthington project in Chester County. Uptown Worthington is on the site of the 100 acre Worthington Steel brownfield site. Funding will be used for constructing storm and wastewater infrastructure.
• $250,000 for Haines Aaronsburg Municipal Authority in Centre County for a water line interconnection between the Borough of Millheim and Aaronsburg which will provide increased water security to both communities in times of emergency or drought.
• $500,000 for Findlay Township Municipal Authority in Allegheny County for design and construction of an upgrade and expansion of the water and sewer infrastructure in the Township. This upgrade will allow for safe and adequate water flow during fire emergencies, as well adequate water and sewer capacity for current and future residents and businesses.