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§ 751.10. Financial assistance

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated StatutesTitle 35 P.S. Health and SafetyEffective: June 19, 2013

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated Statutes
Title 35 P.S. Health and Safety (Refs & Annos)
Chapter 5. Water and Sewage (Refs & Annos)
Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority Act (Refs & Annos)
Effective: June 19, 2013
35 P.S. § 751.10
§ 751.10. Financial assistance
(a) Criteria for obtaining assistance.--In reviewing applications for financial assistance, the authority shall consider:
(1) Whether the project will improve the health, safety, welfare or economic well-being of the people of this Commonwealth.
(2) Whether the proposed project will lead to an effective or complete solution to the problems experienced with the water management and control supply, sewage treatment or storm water system to be aided, including compliance with State and Federal laws, regulations or standards.
(3) The cost-effectiveness of the proposed project in comparison with other alternatives, including other institutional, financial and physical alternatives.
(4) The consistency of the proposed project with other State and regional resource management and economic development plans.
(5) Whether the applicant has demonstrated its ability to operate and maintain the project in a proper manner.
(6) Whether the project encourages consolidation of water or sewer systems, where such consolidation would enable the customers of the systems to be more effectively and efficiently served.
(7) The availability of other sources of funds at reasonable rates to finance all or a portion of the project and the need for authority assistance to finance the project or to attract the other sources of funding.
(b) Financing priorities.--In assigning priorities for projects, the board shall consult with the Department of Commerce1 and the department. In addition to any requirements of Federal law imposed on the use of Federal funds, the board shall determine priorities based on factors which include, but are not limited to:
(1) Benefits to public health.
(2) The contribution to and impact of the project on economic development as well as social and environmental values.
(3) Benefits to public safety or welfare.
(4) Improvement in the ability of an applicant to come into compliance with State and Federal statutes, regulations and standards.
(5) Improvement in the adequacy or efficiency of the water management and control supply, sewage treatment or storm water system.
(6) The cost-effectiveness of the project.
(7) Whether the governmental unit to be served by a sewage treatment system is subject to construction or connection limitations issued by the department and the date that any such limitation was issued.
(8) Whether the project encourages consolidation of water or sewer systems, where such consolidation would enable the customers of the systems to be more effectively and efficiently served.
(9) Whether a storm water project is sponsored by more than one municipality and is located at strategic locations determined by the basin-wide studies undertaken under the act of October 4, 1978 (P.L. 864, No. 167), known as the Storm Water Management Act,2 or other joint municipal or county efforts.
(10) Whether a project will resolve known drainage or storm water-related problems.
(b.1) Storm water projects.--
(1) (Reserved).
(2) Subject to paragraph (4), a storm water project designed to manage storm water runoff shall be eligible for funding if any of the following are applicable:
(i) the project is located within a watershed for which a county has adopted a watershed storm water management plan and the municipality has adopted ordinances required to implement the plan as required by the Storm Water Management Act or as required by the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) storm water permitting requirements;
(ii) the project is specifically designed to maintain and/or improve existing water quality and to comply with the act of June 22, 1937 (P.L. 1987, No. 394),3 known as The Clean Streams Law, or storm water permitting requirements; or
(iii) the project is located in a municipality which has enacted a storm water management ordinance that requires land owners and any person engaged in the alteration or development of land to implement measures to ensure that the maximum rate, volume and quality of storm water runoff is no greater after the development than prior to development activities as required by the Storm Water Management Act or The Clean Streams Law.
(3) Deleted by 2013, June 19, P.L. 51, No. 16, § 2, imd. effective.
(4) A storm water project to be undertaken by an entity other than a municipality shall comply with all of the following:
(i) the project shall be in compliance with ordinances, policies and plans adopted by the municipality where the project is located; and
(ii) the project shall be approved by other impacted municipalities as required by the board.
(b.2) Nonpoint source management program projects.--A project that is consistent with Pennsylvania's Nonpoint Source Management Program Update, as required under section 319(b) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (62 Stat. 1155, 33 U.S.C. § 1329(b)), that has a water quality benefit as determined by the department, shall be eligible for funding.
(c) Decision of board.--Establishment of priority for financial assistance under subsection (b) or (d) shall not be deemed to be a final action under 2 Pa.C.S. (relating to administrative law and procedure), nor shall it confer a right or duty upon the board or any other person. A decision as to an applicant's eligibility under subsection (a) may be appealed pursuant to 2 Pa.C.S., but the priority assigned the project may not be raised in that appeal.
(d) Small projects.--
(1) The board shall establish a program of assistance to water supply and sewage disposal systems serving communities with a population of 12,000 people or less or systems having hookups of 1,000 or less.
(2) The board shall establish a program to financially assist storm water projects for municipalities with a population of 12,000 people or less. In addition to other factors which the board in its discretion may consider in assigning priorities under this program, preference shall be given where the municipality impacted by the project:
(i) has no natural watercourse within its boundaries;
(ii) relies on methods of storm water control which do not comply with Federal or State rules, regulations or standards; or
(iii) has been found to be subject to karst sinkhole development or other geologic condition which poses a danger to person or property and which may be aggravated by uncontrolled storm water flows.
(e) Grants.--Grants shall be made only when the board, in its sole discretion, determines that the financial condition of the recipient is such that repayment of a loan is unlikely and that the recipient will not be able to proceed with the project without a grant. In considering grant applications, the authority may recommend, either before or after the determination of the board, that the recipient pursue other State grant programs, including, but not limited to, the Site Development program, the Federal Small Communities Block Grant program and the Federal Urban Development Action Grant program. Should the board determine that a grant is necessary from the authority, the board shall attempt to mix the grant funds with loan funds, if financially possible.
(f) Loans.--Subject to any agreements with the holders of bonds, the board shall have the power to set terms applicable to loans in any manner it deems appropriate, subject to the provisions of this subsection. The board may consider such factors as it deems relevant, including current market interest rates, the financial and economic distress of the area which the project serves, and the necessity to maintain the authority funds in a financially sound manner. Loans may be made based on the ability to repay the loan from future revenue to be derived from the project, by a mortgage or other property lien, or on any other fiscal matters which the authority deems appropriate. The board shall have the power to defer principal on loans for up to five years. In the event of a default on the repayment of a loan, the board may apply to the court of common pleas of the county where the project is located for the appointment of a receiver to assume operation and supervision of the facility under the supervision of the court. The minimum rate of interest to be paid on any loan made pursuant to this act shall be 1%. The maximum rate of interest shall not exceed the following:
(1) For projects in counties whose unemployment rate exceeds the Statewide unemployment rate by 40% or more, 1% for the first five years and 25% of the bond issue rate for the remainder of the loan.
(2) For projects in counties whose unemployment rate exceeds the Statewide unemployment rate, but exceeds it by less than 40%, 30% of the bond issue rate for the first five years and 60% of the bond issue rate for the remainder of the loan.
(3) For all other projects, 60% of the bond issue rate for the first five years and 75% of the bond issue rate for the remainder of the loan.
(4) For projects located within municipalities for which unemployment rates exist which would qualify the project for lower interest rates than if the relevant county unemployment rate were used, the unemployment rate of that municipality may be used in determining the interest rate on the loan.
For purposes of this subsection, the phrase “unemployment rate of the county” shall mean the average unemployment rate for the county in the most recent calendar year for which data has been finalized. For the projects which serve multiple counties, the highest unemployment rate of the counties involved shall be used. The unemployment data utilized shall be data reported by the Department of Labor and Industry. For purposes of this subsection, the phrase “bond interest rate” shall be the rate of interest paid by the Commonwealth immediately preceding the date of the loan for the bonds issued under sections 16 and 17.4
(g) Limitation on annual assistance.--The amount of assistance approved by the board under subsection (e) shall not in any fiscal year exceed the amount of interest earnings, State appropriations and any funds received specifically for grants which are deposited into the accounts of the authority. This limitation shall not apply to projects funded prior to January 1, 1989, but the total amount of assistance under subsection (e) prior to January 1, 1989, shall not exceed $15,000,000, excluding moneys specifically appropriated by the General Assembly for grants.
(h) Other assistance.--The board shall provide by regulation for the use of other methods of financial assistance, including, but not limited to, bond and loan guarantees, and purchase or insurance of bonds if the board deems this to be an appropriate method to accomplish the purposes of this act.
(i) Limitation.--The provisions of other law notwithstanding, all projects eligible for assistance under this act shall be determined to be site development projects as referenced in the act of April 9, 1929 (P.L. 343, No. 176), known as The Fiscal Code.5 In no case shall total assistance to any single project total more than $11,000,000, or $20,000,000 if a project serves more than one municipality, except that the board by a vote of at least nine members may authorize loans in excess of $20,000,000 to comprehensive projects providing or proposing consolidated service to a region encompassing all or parts of four or more municipalities. Total assistance to a storm water project shall not exceed $1,000 for each resident of the municipality or municipalities being served by the project or $10,000,000, whichever is less.
(j) Continuing education of operators.--No agreement with individuals or entities shall be valid in the absence of an agreement by the individuals or entities seeking assistance under this act to assure that the system operators are participating or will participate in continuing education programs developed by the department. If the board determines that the system operator of a system receiving assistance is not participating in continuing education programs, the board shall take all steps necessary to cease all financial assistance and recover all prior payments, including, but not limited to, the immediate repayment of any outstanding loans and interest and any grants. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to cases where financial assistance is provided for storm water projects.
(k) Inspection of project and records.--
(1) The applicant shall allow the authority and its successors, agents and representatives the right, at all reasonable times during construction and after completion of the project, to enter upon and inspect the project and to examine and make copies of the applicant's books, records, accounting data and other documents pertaining to the project and the financial condition of the applicant.
(2) The applicant may be required by the board or its agent to have prepared independent audits of its financial documents and conditions and submit a certified copy of the audits to the board.
(l) Financial analysis.--The financial analysis used by the board to determine the need of all applicants for financial assistance shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(1) Fair and reasonable costs of wastewater treatment or of supplying drinking water or of controlling storm water incurred by comparable systems.
(2) The incomes of affected ratepayers and their ability to pay increased rates necessary to complete the proposed projects.
(3) Other sources of financing available to individuals or entities seeking assistance under this act.
(4) A determination that any financial assistance provided by this act will not be used to supplant financial resources already available to the applicant.
(m) Refinancing limitation.--Financial assistance shall not be available under this act for refinancing of any project except that the Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund may be used to the extent authorized by the Water Quality Act of 1987 (Public Law 100-4, 101 Stat. 7) for projects commenced after March 7, 1985.
(n) Steel procurement.--Every application shall contain a certification that the applicant shall, in every contract for the acquisition, repair, construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, extension, expansion, improvement, alteration or maintenance of any water supply or sewage treatment system, comply with the provisions of the act of March 3, 1978 (P.L. 6, No. 3), known as the Steel Products Procurement Act.6

Credits

1988, March 1, P.L. 82, No. 16, § 10, imd. effective. Amended 1992, Dec. 16, P.L. 1137, No. 149, § 5, effective in 60 days; 2013, June 19, P.L. 51, No. 16, § 2, imd. effective.

Footnotes

Now Department of Community and Economic Development. See 71 P.S. § 1709.2103.
32 P.S. § 680.1 et seq.
35 P.S. § 691.1 et seq.
35 P.S. §§ 751.16 and 751.17.
72 P.S. § 1 et seq.
73 P.S. § 1881 et seq.
35 P.S. § 751.10, PA ST 35 P.S. § 751.10
Current through Act 13 of the 2024 Regular Session. Some statute sections may be more current, see credits for details.
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