U.S. Rep. Cartwright secures new federal funding for stormwater improvements Dingman. Appropriations bill will double funding available for local grants in Chesapeake Bay Watershed Region, Including northeastern Pennsylvania
Stormwater runoff (Chesapeake Bay Program: chesapeakebay.net)
U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright (PA-08) convinced his colleagues on the House Appropriations Committee to approve new funding that will offset the costs of improving stormwater infrastructure in northeastern Pennsylvania, a growing issue for working families in the district and across the state. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, Cartwright advocated for increased funding for sediment removal grants and programs to control polluted stormwater runoff in the Chesapeake Bay watershed region, which includes parts of Pennsylvania’s 8 Congressional District. This increased funding will help local cities and municipalities meet a federal mandate to restore the Chesapeake Bay, a mandate that has led to new and increased stormwater fees in places like Luzerne County. “I’ve listened to the homeowners and seniors in northeastern Pennsylvania. They’re trying to feed their families or living on a fixed income,” Cartwright said. “I believe this new federal funding will help reduce local fees over time. Every dollar spent by the federal government is a dollar saved by local communities and working families. I want to thank Interior-Environment Subcommittee Chairwoman Betty McCollum for working with me on this.” Specifically, the Appropriations Committee doubled the money available for grants that can go to communities in northeastern Pennsylvania, from $12 million (in fiscal year 2019) to $24 million. This is part of an overall increase in the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Program, from $73 million to $85 million. The funding was part of the FY2020 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies budget bill, which was approved by the committee in late May. Organizations and local governments can use these grants to clean up streams and address specific pollution problems, such as sediment erosion, degraded wetlands and forest buffers, or aging and faulty sewer and stormwater systems. Cartwright is a member of House Democratic Leadership and the House Committee on Appropriations. He serves as Vice Chair of the Commerce-Justice-Science Subcommittee and is a member of the Financial Services and General Government and Military Construction-VA Appropriations Subcommittees. He also serves on the Committee on Natural Resources. Pennsylvania’s 8th Congressional District includes Lackawanna, Wayne, and Pike Counties, and portions of Luzerne and Monroe Counties.