WILKES-BARRE — U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) announced Tuesday that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is providing Pennsylvania with $240,167,000 from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to improve water infrastructure.

Casey, D-Scranton, said the funding would supplement the $67 million that was allocated to Pennsylvania for its clean water and drinking water state revolving funds in fiscal year 2022.

Casey said the funds will be used to help communities gain access to safe and clean water, repair aging pipes, collect and treat wastewater and build resilience to extreme weather events, which are becoming more common as the climate crisis continues.

“All communities deserve access to clean and safe water,” Casey said. “This funding will expand access to clean drinking water, invest in wastewater collection and treatment projects to protect public health and improve water resources for all. Such investments are especially important because they reach many families that have historically been marginalized. And as we continue to face the worsening effects of the climate crisis, these investments will mean increased resilience in the face of unpredictable weather conditions such as floods and hurricanes.”

Cartwright announces $400,000

to support regional business

U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Moosic, announced $400,000 in funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) for the Northeast Pennsylvania Alliance’s PREP program.

The program provides practical technical assistance to small and medium-sized businesses and local authorities in the form of business financing, export promotion and procurement assistance.

“We all want our region to be nationally competitive, and one way to do that is to have a well-educated and trained workforce and local businesses with access to the resources and information they need,” Cartwright said. “I am grateful to the NEPA Alliance for their efforts on the ground to support the growth of our local businesses and governments, and I am proud to support the Appalachian Regional Commission in their efforts to advocate for Appalachian recovery and provide our region with the resources to help us thrive.”

Jeffrey Box, President and CEO of NEPA Alliance, said, “NEPA Alliance thanks Congressman Cartwright for his continued support of the Appalachian Regional Commission and for his assistance in obtaining the PREP grant. These federal funds allow NEPA to continue to serve our business clients throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania with business financing, international business development and government contracting assistance.”

Pashinsky, Yudzichak, and Shnee announce

grants for two Luzerne County projects

State Rep. Eddie Day Paszynski, D-Wilkes-Barre, announced the approval by the Commonwealth Finance Office of a $100,000 grant to the Anthracite Scenic Trails Association’s Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program for the Oliver Mills to D&L Summit Trail segment.

“Northeastern Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania are blessed with some of the most beautiful and bountiful natural landscapes anywhere in the world,” Pashinsky said. “Not only do these places provide great hunting and fishing and outdoor recreation opportunities, they also bring important money to our communities. Thank you to Governor Wolf and his administration for recognizing the importance of the D&L route to the beauty, economy and quality of life of our region.”

Paszynski said the association will use the funds to rehabilitate 4.8 miles of the existing Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor Trail located in Fairview and Hanover Townships and Laurel Township, Luzerne County.

These CFA funds are in addition to a recently announced investment of $826,000 from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Community Conservation Partnership Program to develop the D&L Trail in Fairview and Hanover Townships and Laurel Run Township.

State Sen. John Judichak, I-Swoyersville, announced that the city of Hazleton has received $100,000 in funding for a new passive recreation park in downtown Hazleton, located in the city’s new Arts and Innovation District.

The project will include the addition of a grand staircase that will serve as a performance stage along the west side of the park and an oval walkway connecting the stage to the Arts Center entrance. There will also be associated retaining walls and fencing to compensate for the change in grade, as well as additional landscaping, lighting and furniture to complete the lower lawn area.

“The investment announced today by the Commonwealth Finance Authority will help complete two vital projects in Luzerne County that will improve recreation and stimulate economic growth throughout the region,” Yudziczak said. “Closing the gaps in the D&L Trail in Luzerne County is paramount to attracting even more outdoor enthusiasts to Northeastern Pennsylvania, and it’s great to see CFA continue to partner with the City of Hazleton in continuing their downtown revitalization efforts.” .”

Rep. Robert Schnee, R-Drums, said, “Funding projects like this gives our communities an opportunity to provide residents and visitors with a place to gather with family and friends. I am more than pleased that this much needed funding is being allocated to our region.

Meiser earns “Guardian

Small Business Award”

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) has honored Rep. Dan Meuser, D-Dallas, with its Guardian of Small Business Award.

This is NFIB’s most prestigious legislative award, given to lawmakers who consistently vote with small business on key issues identified by small business owners.

Legislators who voted with small business on key issues 70% or more of the time during the 117th Congress received the NFIB Guardian of Small Business Award.

NFIB tells legislators in advance which votes will be considered key NFIB votes and asks legislators to support the consensus views of our members. NFIB communicates results to NFIB members.

“As a member of the House Small Business Committee, I listened carefully to the concerns of my small business constituents and voted to protect their interests,” Meiser said. “I also spent time in the 9th Congressional District with those who were severely impacted by the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, only to be further impacted by inflationary pressures, supply chain challenges, and energy costs. I am honored to receive this award and look forward to representing Main Street issues in Congress.”

NFIB President and CEO Brad Clowes said the NFIB Guardian of Small Business Award recognizes members of Congress who have proven to be true advocates for small business.

“This Congress, small businesses have emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic, but face the continued threat of inflation, labor shortages and supply chain disruptions,” Clowes said. “These NFIB trustees have demonstrated strong support for small business on key issues. NFIB is unique in that we only represent small and independent businesses, and our members define our policies. We are proud to recognize the elected officials of the 117th Congress who have earned this distinction by voting for small business, supporting the expansion of the Wage Protection Program, and opposing tax increases, new mandates, increased legal liability, and problematic labor laws that would jeopardize restoring the Main Street economy. The NFIB is grateful to Rep. Meuser for being named a Small Business Patron.”

Contact Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.

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