HARRISBURG – JULY 20 – A loan in excess of $9.4 million to improve the treatment of wastewater in the City of Bethlehem has been approved by a state agency, state Sen. Lisa M. Boscola announced today.

The Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) loan will be used to improve the city’s two existing digesters and install a new digester to handle sludge disposal.

“Continued maintenance and improvement of wastewater treatment facilities improves the overall quality of life in a community,” said Boscola (D- Northampton/Lehigh/Monroe) said.  “The loan will improve the city’s ability to properly handle the disposal of sludge and treat wastewater.”

Boscola said there must be a greater emphasis and focus on improving wastewater treatment and water systems statewide.  According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, the state must invest $2 billion over the next 20 years to repair and upgrade existing systems or build new systems to meet needs.

“This loan helps the city complete the rehabilitation project that has a total cost in excess of $10 million,” Boscola said.  “The improvement in the treatment system will also help the city comply with EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) requirements.”

The Bethlehem lawmaker serves as Democratic chair of the Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee and has been a strong advocate of improving the state’s infrastructure.  Boscola also sees infrastructure investments and rehabilitation projects as opportunities to create jobs.

“Investing in our infrastructure is critical,” Boscola said.  “It improves our ability to create a first-rate environment for business investment and requires local labor and businesses to complete the public works projects.  It’s a win-win for taxpayers and business”

Boscola said that this wastewater rehabilitation project is expected to create 40 jobs for Pennsylvania residents.