Washington, D.C. —U.S. Senators Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.) today announced final Congressional approval of federal funding for several Interior projects in Pennsylvania as contained in the Fiscal Year 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Bill.
“I am pleased my colleagues have recognized the importance of these Pennsylvania projects,” Senator Specter said. “This funding will help communities to improve and maintain important infrastructure programs which are critical for safe drinking water and environmental protection.”
“This money is great news for Pennsylvania and I am thrilled that my colleagues approved funding for these projects throughout the Commonwealth,” said Senator Casey. “I will continue working with Senator Specter to build critical infrastructure.”
Pennsylvania projects in the bill include:
*House Members that also supported a project are indicated in parenthesis
· $2 million for the Small Public Water Systems Technology Assistance Program, a national network of eight technical assistance centers, including one at Penn State University in Centre County. The center supports the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency goal of providing clean and safe water to residents served by small public water systems.
· $1 million for the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. 70,000 acres surround the Delaware River on the border of northwestern New Jersey and northeastern Pennsylvania. Funding will assist in the acquisition and conservation of a bordering property which, if developed, would adversely affect the water quality of the Delaware River, the park’s viewshed and access for local residents. (Carney)
· $600,000 for Allegheny County Sanitary Authority’s Three Rivers Wet Weather Demonstration. The program serves 83 municipalities by fixing municipal sewers, protecting the region’s streams and augmenting the investment of local governments in compliance with the Clean Water Act. (Doyle)
· $500,000 for Philipsburg Borough in Centre County for a storm and wastewater infrastructure project. Currently, during periods of heavy rain, significant levels of hydraulic overload occur at the Moshannon Valley Treatment Center, a shared, multi-municipality treatment plant. (Peterson)
· $3.5 million for Glatfelter Tree Farm in Adams County to support local efforts to acquire and preserve a 2,500 acre tract of woodland between a Pennsylvania state forest and a nature preserve at risk of being developed. In the 2008 elections, Adams County voters overwhelmingly supported a ballot measure for the county to issue a $10 million bond. An additional $6 million has been raised privately and with state grants.
· $500,000 for City of Reading in Berks County for upgrades to the wastewater treatment plant to bring into compliance discharge levels into the Schuylkill River. Improper treatment caused by old infrastructure has caused pollution and environmental degradation. (Gerlach)
· $200,000 for Bridgeport Borough in Montgomery County for a combined sewer separation and sewer construction project. This project is necessary as during periods of wet weather, combined sewer outfalls in the Borough of Bridgeport discharge raw sewage into the Schuylkill River. (Sestak)
· $200,000 for Lower Milford Township in Lehigh County for a wastewater treatment plant and construction project. The sewer system upgrades will bring the community into compliance with state environmental regulations. (Dent)
· $200,000 for Redbank Valley Municipal Authority in Clarion County for a wastewater and water quality protection project. A Consent Order by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection mandates the construction of a new wastewater treatment system to eliminate on lot sewage system failures, to increase the sewage pumping capacity and to increase sewage plant treatment capacity.
· $200,000 for South Creek Township in Bradford County for a wastewater and water quality protection project. A Consent Order by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection mandates the construction of the facility as malfunctioning septic systems are contaminating local drinking water with coli form bacteria, a serious public health concern.
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