EPA announces it will not regulate perchlorate in drinking water. Read more>>
March 10, 2022
March 13th- 19th, 2022 is Sunshine Week in Pennsylvania. Click here to receive the Office of Open Records daily webinars on hot topics daily at 2:00 p.m.
February 22, 2022
Pennsylvania Homeowners Assistance Fund (PA HAF):
New Funding Program for utility services (water and wastewater) for customers with delinquent payments.
Pennsylvania Homeowners Assistance Fund (PA HAF) is a new $350 million relief program, funded through the American Rescue Plan (ARP) and overseen by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, that will provide Pennsylvania homeowners impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with financial assistance to help stabilize homeownership and prevent displacement. As part of the available relief, homeowners can receive up to $3,000 in grant assistance to prevent a utility termination.
Recently, a virtual stakeholder meeting for utility providers was held about the program. To access a recording of the February 11, 2022 meeting, click here. An overview of the program was provided by IEM (the HAF program administrator), followed by a facilitated discussion to gather input from utility partners for how the program can improve coordination with utilities to streamline processing for utility assistance grants. Utilities will need to submit an IRS Form W-9, a completed PAHAF ACH Agreement, and Corporate Documents to receive grant assistance on behalf of homeowners through the program. Submit utility provider paperwork at PAHAFHELP@PAHAF.ORG.
Click here for PA HAF PowerPoint Overview
Click here for PA HAF FAQs
February 10, 2022
HB 2020 (Representative Lynda Culver - Northumberland and Snyder Counties) was recently introduced establishing the framework for Growing Greener III funded by the Federal American Rescue Plan ($500 million). Grants are available to municipal authorities and municipalities to design and build projects and implement BMPs with an emphasis on green infrastructure, in order to implement MS4 plans and reductions.
Chesapeake Bay Phase 3 WIP State Team Meeting Recap
Phase 3 WIP State Team Meeting was held February 3 and featured remarks by DEP Secretary McDonnell, DCNR Secretary Dunn, and Agriculture Department Deputy Secretary Hostetter. In addition to a review of partner and stakeholder watershed restoration projects, Jill Whitcomb, Director of the DEP Chesapeake Bay Office discussed the amended Phase 3 WIP, local trends identified in the Countywide Action Plans, and recently submitted Numeric Commitments and progress. PMAA is a member of this team representing the wastewater sector.
Rounding out the meeting was a review of the draft 2022 Integrated Water Quality Report story map.
January 26, 2022
Governor Wolf Builds on Commitment of a Lead-Free PA, Announces $168 Million Investment in Water Infrastructure Projects in 13 Counties
PMAA testified on January 24th at the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee informational meeting regarding HB 1901 by Representative John Hershey (Franklin, Juniata, Mifflin). The bill establishes a Clean Streams Fund in Pennsylvania (similar to SB 832) via a $250 million allocation from federal dollars. Funding would be distributed through a mix of new and existing programs. Of note, $25 million would go to a new Municipal Stormwater Assistance Program to help communities plan and implement stormwater practices.
Click here for PMAA’s testimony (Thank you to Capital Region Water CEO Charlotte Katzenmoyer who testified on behalf of PMAA).
January 19, 2022
HB 527 (Representative Cox – Berks County) amends Title 53 (Municipalities Generally), by creating a new Chapter 52 to provide for the public notice of a public meeting by a municipality prior to entering into an agreement to sell or lease a water or sewer system owned or operated by a municipal authority or municipality.
Introduced and referred to the House Local Government Committee – June 11th, 2021
Voted out of the House Local Government Committee, as amended – September 29th, 2021
Received first consideration in the House, as amended – September 29th, 2021
Received second consideration in the House – January 11th, 2022
Voted out of the House Appropriations Committee – January 12th, 2022
HB 2148 (Representative Brett Miller – Lancaster County) Amends Titles 45 (Legal Notices) and 65 (Public Officials) by protecting municipal authorities and local governments from liability should a newspaper fail to publish their properly submitted public notice. Click here for PMAA’s support letter.
Introduced and referred to the House Local Government Committee – December 8th and 15th respectively
Received second consideration in the House - January 10th, 2022
Passed the House (Y: 200/N: 1) – January 11th, 2022
House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee – Public hearing on Solar/Wind Decommissioning Standards (HB 2104)
HB 2104 (Representative Kathy Rapp - Crawford, Forest, Warren Counties) - Requires solar/wind energy facility agreements, decommissioning plans, proof of financial assurance, and preempts local ordinances/regulations.
Click here for Pennsylvania Legislative Services summary of the public hearing.
Click here for testimony presented at the hearing.
Cost study resolution on proposed revisions to biosolids permits passed House (HR 149)
HR 149 (Representative Jim Rigby – Cambria and Somerset Counties) - Directs the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to study the costs and methods for permit holders to comply with the proposed revisions to General Permit PAG-07, General Permit PAG-08 and General Permit PAG-09.
Introduced and referred to the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee – October 25th.
House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee held a public hearing - October 25th.
Voted out of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee – November 15th.
House adopted amendment #A03185 – LBFC to assess whether current permit holders can comply with proposed permit revisions and extends the study deadline from 12 months to 18 months – December 15th.
Received final passage (Y: 119/N: 81) – December 15th.
Comments Filed – Guidance on Notification Requirements for Spills, Discharges Causing or Threatening Pollution to Waters of the Commonwealth under Pennsylvania’s Clean Streams Law
PMAA along with other organizations that make up the AWWA Water Utility Council (WUC – PA Chapter) submitted comments to DEP’s proposed changes to the technical guidance document on notification requirements for spills, discharges, and other incidents of a substance causing or threatening pollution to waters of the Commonwealth.
Click here for the WUC comment letter.
Click here for the guidance document - Guidance on Notification Requirements for Spills, Discharges, and other Incidents of a Substance Causing or Threatening Pollution to Waters of the Commonwealth Under Pennsylvania’s Clean Streams Law.
DEP Proposed Changes: Act 101 Modernization, Covered Device Recycling Act
DEP Solid Waste Advisory Committee (SWAC) / Recycling Fund Advisory Committee (RFAC) met December 16, 2021 to discuss DEP recommendations for modernization of Act 101 and proposed changes to the Covered Device Recycling Act (CDRA) and electronic waste management.
Joanne Shafer of Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority represents PMAA on this advisory committee.
Click here for meeting materials.
Bidding Thresholds Increase (Effective Jan. 1, 2022)
The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry published the authority and municipal bidding thresholds for 2022. Under Act 90 of 2011, the bidding thresholds provide for an annual inflation adjustment based on the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers.
The percentage change for the 12-month period ending September 30, 2021, is 5.4%. PLEASE NOTE: The law (Act 90 of 2011) caps an increase at a maximum of 3%.
Beginning January 1, 2022, the bidding thresholds for municipal authorities will be as follows:
Purchases and contracts below $11,800 require no formal bidding or written/telephonic quotations.
Purchases and contracts between $11,800 and $21,900 require three written/telephonic quotations.
Purchases and contracts over $21,900 require formal bidding.
Click here to view the Pennsylvania Bulletin announcement (December 18, 2021 edition) and for the specifics of the CPI adjustment.
PMAA Joins Amicus Brief Filed in Prevailing Wage Act Case
A significant case involving the application of Pennsylvania’s Prevailing Wage Act (“Act”) is currently before the Commonwealth Court on appeal from a decision of the Prevailing Wage Appeals Board (“Board”). In this case, the Board held that a construction project was considered a “public work” subject to the Act where an entity worked with an Authority to obtain bond financing for the project, although the funds obtained through the financing were never held by the Authority and the Authority had no rights with respect to the project. However, the Board found that since the financing terms could not have been obtained without the Authority’s involvement, the project was considered a “public work.” Because this case could impact PMAA members, PMAA decided to join in an amicus brief filed with the Commonwealth Court by the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry seeking a reversal of the Board’s decision. PMAA staff and solicitors are closely monitoring this matter and we will update our members on any related issues in the coming months.
December 22, 2021