News Release
Release No.STELPRD4009092
ContactDawn Knepp717-237-2286
New sewer collection and treatment facility will serve 1686 residents in the Washington Heights, Arnold City and Lynnwood areas
Belle Vernon, PA, Mar 21, 2011 --


Press Release


Dawn Knepp 717-237-2286


Groundbreaking Ceremony Held for Washington Township Sewer Project Phase II

New sewer collection and treatment facility will serve 1686 residents in the Washington Heights, Arnold City and Lynnwood areas

Belle Vernon, March 21, 2011 – A ceremonial groundbreaking, held today for the Municipal Authority of the Township of Washington’s Phase II Sewer Project, marks an important day for over 1,686 local residents. Congressman Mark Critz (PA-12th), officials from USDA Rural Development, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers participated in the groundbreaking.

Phase II of the sewer construction project area includes the areas of Washington Heights, Arnold City, and Lynnwood areas. The areas are currently served by on-lot sewage systems, which are malfunctioning and allowing raw or partially treated sewage to be discharged to yards, roadside ditches, roadways and nearby streams. There have been numerous sewage related complaints concerned with the seepage of partially treated or inadequately treated wastewater to roadside ditches within the project area. The existing system is inadequate and poses a constant threat of bacterial contamination for the area residents, as well as fish, wildlife and downstream property owners.

“Not only will this project improve health conditions and the quality of life for the people who live here, but it will save home owners tax dollars and help remove barriers to economic growth,” said Critz. ”This is the kind of success we can enjoy when we just talk to each other and seek common sense solutions to problems that touch us all.”  

“The untreated sewage that is currently flowing into the local watersheds and the resulting health and environmental concerns will be removed with these improvements. This project is an example of how USDA Rural Development is helping to protect the environment throughout rural Pennsylvania,” said Tom Williams, Rural Development State Director. “And, this project advances the Obama Administration’s economic recovery goals to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure by creating jobs.”

USDA Rural Development is providing a $5,466,300 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) loan administered by the Water and Environmental Program which provides loans and grants to ensure that the necessary investments are made in water and wastewater infrastructure to deliver safe drinking water and protect the environment in rural areas.

"The Corps of Engineers is proud to be a part of this project," said COL William Graham, Pittsburgh District Engineer. "This project will not only improve the environment and quality of life for citizens of this area, but will promote economic development."

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is providing $2,000,000 of Section 313, South Central Pennsylvania Environmental Improvement Program, funding to support the design and construction for Phase 2 of this project. Section 313 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1992 established this program to provide design and construction assistance for water-related environmental infrastructure and resource protection and development projects in 15 counties in southwestern Pennsylvania. The Section 313 Program authorizes Federal assistance to provide design and construction oversight to communities for projects involving wastewater treatment and related facilities, water supply, storage, treatment and distribution facilities, and surface water resource protection and development projects. These projects directly improve the environment and the quality of life in the program area and contribute to the national goal of improving environmental quality.

Phase I of the project was funded through $11 Million in PENNVEST grants and loans, $1,000,000 provided through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, $950,000 grant awarded from The PA Department of Community & Economic Development under the H20 PA Water Supply, Sewer & Stormwater Act, and a $100,000 PA Safe Water grant.

USDA Rural Development serves as the lead federal agency for rural development needs by offering financial and technical assistance to individuals, businesses and communities. USDA Rural Development programs include funding for day care centers, fire trucks and other community facility projects; the purchase, construction or repair of homes; loans and guarantees to rural businesses to save or create jobs and renewable energy; and loans and grants for water and sewer utility projects. For more information on programs offered by USDA Rural Development, contact the Pennsylvania State Office at (717) 237-2299 or visit its website at

President Obama signed The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 into law on Feb. 17, 2009. It is designed to jumpstart the nation’s economy, create or save millions of jobs, and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so our country can thrive in the 21st century. The Act includes measures to modernize our nation’s infrastructure, enhance energy independence, expand educational opportunities, preserve and improve affordable health care, provide tax relief, and protect those in greatest need.

More information about USDA’s Recovery Act efforts is available at More information about the Federal government’s efforts on the Recovery Act is available at



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