Jim Thorpe, January 31, 2018 — State Senator John Yudichak (D – Luzerne/Carbon), State Representative Gerald Mullery (D – Luzerne), and State Representative Tarah Toohil (R – Luzerne) announced today that the Greater Hazleton Joint Sewer Authority (GHJSA) will receive $11.4 million dollars in funding from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST). A PENNVEST grant of $8.986 million was secured for the project, while $2.425 million will come from a low interest loan. The project is expected to create 20 new construction jobs in the region.

The $11.4 million dollars in funding will help the GHJSA complete its Sewage Sludge Incinerator Project. The purpose of the project is to provide a long-term disposal method for the authority’s sewage sludge, which is a by-product of wastewater treatment. The incinerator will provide a greater than 90 percent reduction of waste material currently being sent to landfills for disposal.

“With the state’s investment, the Greater Hazleton Joint Sewer Authority will now be able to make the necessary infrastructure improvements to its plant,” said Senator Yudichak. “The continued support of infrastructure projects like this one is important to advancing economic development in our region and delivering quality services to our residents.”

It is expected that several businesses will be able to expand their operations and hire additional employees. A total of over 300 jobs will be created and retained through this project with over $28 million invested locally.

“This vital state funding will help to create a more efficient disposal method for the Greater Hazleton Joint Sewer Authority’s sewage sludge, which is key to the wastewater treatment process” said Representative Mullery. “The funding will also aid the GHJSA in completing this project, while minimizing the financial impact on its customers.”

“We are extremely pleased that the Sewer Authority has been awarded these monies which will allow them to continue much needed improvements and forward-thinking changes,” said Representative Toohil. “The Sewer Authority is making advancements that are environmentally friendly and help reduce the high amount of waste material that currently needs to be disposed of in a more costly manner to landfills.”

“This funding from PENNVEST will help us to complete this crucial project and allows us to re-work the projections on a pending rate increase resulting in a lower increase for our 19,500 customers,” said Christopher Carsia, GHJSA Director of Operations. “On behalf of our Board of Directors, I personally want to thank our local legislators for helping us to secure this funding.”

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