Congresswoman Lee Announces $32.1 Million to PWSA in Low-Interest Loans and Grants to Continue Removing Lead Service Lines

**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**

January 25, 2023 

CONTACT: Emilia Rowland, Emilia.Rowland@mail.house.gov

Congresswoman Lee Announces $32.1 Million to PWSA in Low-Interest Loans and Grants to Continue Removing Lead Service Lines

Funding will save ratepayers nearly $50 million over 30 years

Pittsburgh, PA – Today, Congresswoman Summer Lee announced that the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority was awarded a $32.1 million funding package from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) to continue the aggressive removal of lead service lines throughout our drinking water system. This funding, provided by President Biden’s Infrastructure Law is split between $13.8 million in grants – marking the largest grant PWSA has received from PENNVEST – and $18.3 million in low-interest loans.

Congresswoman Lee said, “After we helped deliver a $52.4M WIFIA funding award to Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority last year, I’m proud to announce that PWSA has been awarded an additional $32.1 million in funding to improve our drinking water and to ultimately make our homes safer and our kids healthier. This marks a pivotal moment in our ongoing efforts to ensure clean, safe drinking water for our communities. The removal of lead service lines is more than just an infrastructure project; it’s a commitment to our neighbors, to our children, and to future generations to come. As we work to replace thousands of lead pipes across Pittsburgh, we’re not only enhancing the quality of our water but also making a clear statement about the value we place on the wellbeing of our residents. We’re tackling this issue head-on, demonstrating what can be achieved when we prioritize the health and safety of our communities, especially in areas like Western Pennsylvania, which face significant challenges due to the abundance of lead in our water systems. Together, we’re building a stronger, healthier future for Pennsylvania.”

“Today’s award from PENNVEST advances our mission to protect public health by funding the removal of lead service lines at over 1,000 homes,” said PWSA CEO Will Pickering. “We’re grateful for the funding partnership with PENNVEST, the Office of Governor Shapiro, U.S. EPA, and the Biden Administration that is helping to provide customers with safe, high-quality drinking water,” he continued.

Over time, funding from state and federal partners helps to reduce the cost to ratepayers during a period of unprecedented investment in our essential water systems. This round of funding will save ratepayers nearly $50 million over the next thirty years when compared to issuing municipal bonds.

With this award, PWSA estimates replacing 1,375 public and 1,260 private lead service lines in the Borough of Millvale and ten Pittsburgh neighborhoods including Mount Washington, South Side Slopes, South Side Flats, Garfield, Upper Lawrenceville, Central Northside, Manchester, Perry North, Perry South, and Spring Hill-City View. Proactively removing lead service lines is the most effective way to eliminate the presence of lead in drinking water and enhances our ability to protect public health now and for future generations.

Local Economic Impact

The work PWSA is doing throughout the community has a direct economic impact on our region. This $32.1 million award will generate approximately $56 million in economic benefit helping to fuel our local economy, create jobs, and keep money in our communities.

Last year, Congresswoman Lee helped deliver a $52.4 million loan from the federal government to go toward Water Reliability Plan investments.  

Additionally, the House passed Congresswoman Summer Lee’s amendment highlighting the need to protect children’s health by increasing funding for testing and remediation of lead contamination in drinking water at schools and child care facilities. This amendment was added to the FY2024 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act.

Lee’s amendment will specifically address the tremendous need for additional investment in lead testing in Western Pennsylvania: 

The inclusion of Lee’s amendment makes clear the desperate need for this funding despite Republicans’ ongoing attempts to cut funding for many essential programs necessary to protect children against toxins in the air and drinking water.


Since taking office in January, Lee, who serves on the House Oversight Committee and Space, Science and Technology Committee, has delivered historic levels of federal investment totaling over $1 Billion brought back to Western PA, including over $200 million for infrastructure, over $50 million for affordable transit, and over $500 million to keep clean energy manufacturing at home in Pennsylvania. These investments will help improve Western Pennsylvania’s infrastructure and transit, ensure cleaner air and drinking water, lower housing costs, fund research institutions, fuel clean manufacturing, fund STEM innovation and entrepreneurship, boost workforce development, and create thousands of good paying union jobs.  Lee and her team have also delivered casework and constituent services to over 1,600 constituents with issues ranging from helping our seniors and disabled community access Medicare and social security to helping folks secure housing and helping families with immigration support and passports.

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