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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: December 24, 2012 11:41 AM
From: Senator Donald C. White
To: All Senate members
Subject: PENNVEST funding expansion
In the coming weeks, I plan to re-introduce SB152 that will enable the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (“PENNVEST”) to expand its capability to more effectively utilize federal monies provided by the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (“CWSRF”) to fund storm water management and non point source (“NPS”) remediation projects.

In 1992, PENNVEST’s enabling legislation was amended to encourage governmental units to come into compliance with the Storm Water Management Act (“SWMA”) by limiting the availability of funds to those governmental units in compliance with the planning requirements of the SWMA. The intent of the SWMA is to control storm water from developed areas to prevent downstream flooding. However, the current PENNVEST legislation, as amended in 1992, requires the application of these planning requirements statewide, regardless of whether or not a project affects storm water controls in an urban area.

Under the CWSRF, PENNVEST is allowed to fund traditional point source treatment projects under section 212 of the Clean Water Act (“CWA”) and certain non point source (“NPS”) projects as developed under Section 319 of the CWA. Pursuant to the CWA each state develops its own Section 319 plan subject to the Environmental Protection Agency approval.

The Commonwealth’s Section 319 plan is an evolving document and is intended to reflect the changing needs in the Commonwealth for the control of NPS pollution. To effectively utilize the CWSRF for implementation of the Section 319 plan, we must change our current legislation. The proposed changes will (1) continue to implement the original intent of PENNVEST’s enabling legislation by requiring compliance with the SWMA for projects designed to address urban runoff (2) allow PENNVEST to fund other NPS program activities that are identified under the Commonwealth’s Section 319 plan that cannot be easily funded under the current legislative language and (3) expand the universe of eligible applicants to include non-governmental entities such as nonprofit organizations and watershed groups.

Last session’s co-sponsors included Senators: Argall, Erickson, Yaw, Alloway, Wozniak, M. White, Scarnati, Brubaker, Corman, Pippy, Waugh, Mensch, and Farnese.

Introduced as SB196