Harrisburg, PA – The Shapiro Administration today announced that it has successfully worked with Philadelphia to secure more than $101 million in federal funding to reduce the threat of natural hazards and prevent future flooding in several areas of the Commonwealth.
The City of Philadelphia initially approached the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) hoping community development funding could help mitigate flooding in its neighborhoods. DCED worked together with the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) to assist with the flood mitigation issue, which led to all three groups collaborating to secure funding for the City from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This is further proof that when every level of government works together, government can deliver for Pennsylvanians.
"Mitigation projects are a critical part of building resilience in communities, and these awards are some of the largest the Commonwealth has ever received," said Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) Director Randy Padfield. "Taking action now to reduce the threat from severe weather also saves significant money in the response to and recovery from a future disaster."
The Cohocksink Flood Mitigation Project, the final phase of a six-phase flood mitigation project, proposes to double capacity of the combined sewer system in parts of lower North Philadelphia through the construction of new sewer infrastructure and six green stormwater infrastructure systems. The project will have a large area of impact that includes portions of the Northern Liberties, South Kensington, and Ludlow neighborhoods. The expanded sewer capacity will provide a check against extreme storms in the area and reduce the risk of basement and street flooding for residents. The new green infrastructure in these communities will reduce sewer overflow pollution, and additional investments include improvements to local streets, making them safer for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers. Federal funding for this project totals more than $25 million.
"The City worked hard to secure this grant with our state and federal partners because it will fund vital work and sustain good-paying jobs while helping to reduce the costs of infrastructure investments that residents support through their water bills," said Mayor Jim Kenney. "This project truly lives up to the goals of the Building Resilient Infrastructure & Communities program and it's a powerful example of what we can do when all levels of government are working together."
"Congratulations to the City of Philadelphia, PEMA, and FEMA for their work together to mitigate flood risks and benefit our residents and communities," said DCED Secretary Rick Siger. "This is a great example of collaboration among government at all levels, and DCED was glad to play a part in bringing people together to move this project ahead."
The Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management (OEM) coordinated with partners from FEMA, PEMA, and a local Hazard Mitigation Steering Committee to ensure the Cohocksink project was aligned to the city's Hazard Mitigation Plan along with providing support to the Philadelphia Water Department throughout the process.
Office of Emergency Management staff has worked over recent years to build the City's capacity to compete for grants that seek to lessen the impact of hazards in Philadelphia communities, putting the Hazard Mitigation Plan, which was developed by OEM, into action.
FEMA also recently announced progress on funding applications for additional BRIC projects, which were selected in a nationwide competitive grant process. BRIC emphasizes the use of nature based solutions -- sustainable planning, design, environmental management, and engineering practices that weave natural features or processes into the built environment to promote adaption and resilience:
- Philadelphia Water Department:
- Queen Lane Water Pump Generator – $6.08 million
- Pump Station Mitigation – $50 million
- Bridgeville Borough: Flood Control Infrastructure Project – $5.33 million
- Bethlehem: Easton Avenue Flood Mitigation – $3.05 million
- Dover: Floodplain Mitigation – $5.83 million
Two awards for Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) programs were announced as well. Funds can be used for projects that reduce flood impacts and reduce or eliminate the risk of repetitive flood damage to buildings insured by the National Flood Insurance Program:
- Yardley Home Elevation – $671,292
- Philadelphia Increased Sewer Capacity – $5.42 million
All projects will undergo rigorous environmental and historic preservation reviews throughout the approval process.
MEDIA CONTACT: Ruth A. Miller ruthmiller@PA.gov