Senators Yudichak, Argall and Representative Heffley Announce over $1.8 million in PENNVEST Low Interest Financing for Hazleton City Authority

Nanticoke, April 19, 2022 – State Senators John Yudichak (I – Luzerne/Carbon) and David Argall (R-Schuylkill/Berks) along with State Representative Doyle Heffley (R – Carbon) announced today that the Hazleton City Authority (HCA) will be receiving $1,857,220 in PENNVEST low interest financing to replace a vital raw water pumping station on the banks of the Lehigh River that is operated by the HCA within a state park and National Heritage Corridor.

PENNVEST was founded on March 1, 1988 and serves the communities and citizens of Pennsylvania by funding sewer, stormwater and drinking water projects.

“The state’s investment through the PENNVEST low interest financing program for the Hazleton City Authority will help revive a critical infrastructure need for the Authority by replacing a damaged pump station on the banks of the Lehigh River,” said Senator Yudichak. “With this funding, safety, customer demand and the Authority’s drought planning strategy will all be upgraded once the station is back online.”

In August of 2021, a severe storm within the Lehigh River Basin resulted in high water levels, which then flooded the pumping station. Water reached the high voltage transformers for the station and created a sudden short circuit, explosion and power outage, resulting in significant damage. The station has been out of operation since the damage occurred.

The project includes partial demolition of the existing damaged station and the installation of a new electrical system. The station will also be cleaned and painted and all the damaged interior surfaces will be repaired and failed equipment will be replaced as well. The transformer will be relocated above grade to prevent future issues.

“The PENNVEST funding program has been and hopefully will continue to be a great asset to the Hazleton City Authority. With this low interest financing, we’re able to complete this important infrastructure project, which really is an emergency situation and needed to get done quickly,” said Scot Burkhardt, HCA Director of Operations. “I would like to thank Senator Yudichak, Senator Argall and Representative Heffley for their help and also the people at PENNVEST for always working so well with us. This funding enables us to get an important project done at an affordable rate.”

“This highly competitive funding from PENNVEST will provide much-needed financial support to this critical project to modernize a currently defunct pump station on the banks of the Lehigh River,” said State Senator Argall. “This project will be a huge boost to the quality of life of the people of Hazleton by restoring a major source of drinking water to the area.”

“This loan is going toward the restoration of a pumping station that hasn’t been operational since last summer, impacting more than 14,000 water customers,” said Representative Heffley. “The project is an excellent example of why the PENNVEST program is so vital, as it ensures our communities have clean and reliable drinking water. In this case, that water comes from the Lehigh River, and it is critical we work to protect the rights of Pennsylvania residents to have continued access to this important resource.”

Since its inception, PENNVEST has continued its service to the communities and citizens of Pennsylvania by funding sewer, stormwater and drinking water projects throughout the Commonwealth.  These projects not only contribute to improving Pennsylvania’s environment and the health of its people, they also provide opportunities for economic growth and jobs for Pennsylvania’s workers.

Contact:

Brad Hurley (bhurley@pasen.gov)