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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: December 8, 2020 02:11 PM
From: Senator Scott E. Hutchinson
To: All Senate members
Subject: PENNVEST Project Reform
In the near future, I plan to re-introduce legislation that would change the eligibility criteria for fundable projects under the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST).
In the late 80’s PENNVEST was created to provide low interest loans to municipalities for the use of the installation, repair, or maintenance of storm water management systems.  This provided a huge financial savings to local governments as these systems and the commercial loans taken to fund them are very costly.  PENNVEST also pursues “non-point source” investments in things such as BMP management programs, grey field and brown field remediation, and acid mine drainage projects. 
Recently, PENNVEST provided financial assistance in the form of a loan totaling more than $50 million to a private timberland investment company from New Hampshire that focuses on the acquisition and management of lands that they determine to have unique conservation value, which allowed them to purchase 67,500 acres of premium timberland in northwest Pennsylvania.  PENNVEST categorized this loan as one of their “non-point source” investments. 
My legislation would do two things.  First, it would stop PENNVEST from making these types of “non-point source” investments in the future.  Second, it would allow PENNVEST to offer refinancing for local governments who originally funded their storm water management system through a private lending institution.
PENNVEST’s mission is to help local governments create and maintain storm water management systems through the low interest loans and grants they provide.  At a time when our small communities are struggling financially, PENNVEST should be spending their resources there and not on subsidizing the sale of private land to another private entity. 
I hope that you would please join me in sponsoring this critical legislation.  If you have any questions regarding this legislation please contact Nathan Akers in my office at 787-9684 or nakers@pasen.gov.

Introduced as SB430