$15M from Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) to Help Remediate Stormwater Runoff Pollution While Creating Wide Range of Social and Economic Development Benefits for the City
The Stormwater Authority of Chester through its partnership with Corvias is implementing $15M in low interest loans from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) to remediate existing stormwater assets and install new green infrastructure devices that will remove pollution and improve the health of local waterways including Ridley Creek, Chester Creek and the Delaware River.
The PENNVEST funding will be used on stormwater projects approved by the City Council such as the Crozer Park Trail project and the Catch Basin Retrofit project. For the Crozer Park Trail project, the partnership will reduce existing impervious area, construct a new rain garden, and install vegetation and 90 deciduous trees along the trail. The rain garden will capture and manage stormwater runoff from the surrounding area, the trees will intercept rainfall and remove runoff via evapotranspiration, and the vegetation will protect the integrity of the stream bank and channels and help protect the health of the receiving waters. For the Catch Basin Retrofit program, the partnership will continue cleaning and inspecting drainage structures and then repair and/or retrofit identified basins requiring improvement.
“The successful financial close on projects through PENNVEST has allowed us to actively begin the Catch Basin Retrofit Phase of work throughout the City,” says Pete Littleton, Senior Operations Manager, at Corvias. “We’re excited to move forward and continue all of our efforts, allowing Chester to realize greater potential from what had once been looked at as a singular water quality challenge. This partnership will ultimately benefit every facet of the Chester community through social and economic development, workforce creation and mentorships, public health and safety improvements and immediate capital enhancement efforts.”
In 2018, the partnership worked with the community, City representatives, and the industry to identify project priorities, select teams for the first two phases of work, and began work to clean up existing basins. Contractors are encouraged to register with the Stormwater Authority of Chester and Corvias through the Stormwater Authority of Chester website (https://www.chesterstormwaterauthority.com ), to be added to the bidders list and kept informed of upcoming future bid opportunities as the Partnership team issues notification for future projects.
The Stormwater Authority of Chester and Corvias have partnered on this Community-Based Public-Private Partnership program to plan, implement and manage an integrated water quality program within the City of Chester with an initial $50 million water quality infrastructure development, including a long-term (30 year) operation and maintenance program. The effort will support greater greening efforts in the region, building local capacity, driving economic development and providing education and training in water quality developments for this historically impoverished, overly burdened, urbanized community in the Delaware River watershed. This transparent framework aligns the needs of public, private and community stakeholders and forms a long term relationship that stimulates the economy through utilization of local disadvantaged business while achieving regulatory goals.
The City developed the Stormwater Authority of Chester due to a lack of funds for repairing and maintaining the storm water system. There was not enough funds to address the severity of the storm water problems; steadily increasing flooding and water pollution; unfunded state and federal mandates to control these problems and meet standards; an aging, deteriorating and undersized conveyance system for storm water, and competition for dollars with other municipal needs.
New and innovative programs such as this partnership between the Stormwater Authority of Chester and Corvias require commitment, collaboration and patience. The partnership has received tremendous support from the community to include the industrial, business and residential sectors and their investment in the success of these efforts that aim to not only support the redevelopment and beautification of the City of Chester but foster community engagement and empowerment.
“Our intent is to control stormwater runoff through outreach, education, construction, operation and maintenance of a stormwater system,” says Dr. Horace Strand, Executive Manager at Stormwater Authority of Chester. This partnership has already allowed us to make headway on that goal and we are proud and appreciative of how the community and stakeholders have supported this great endeavor”.
The financial investment from PENNVEST is being used to fund construction to make necessary improvements in stormwater infrastructure in the City. The PENNVEST Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) allows the partnership the ability to obtain financial assistance for priorities critical to the partnership and City of Chester’s goals such as the repair of deteriorating water infrastructure, green infrastructure and stormwater management and the prevention of pollution to our waterways. The Stormwater Authority of Chester and Corvias are working closely with PENNVEST, the Stormwater Authority of Chester Board, the Mayor’s office, and City Council to ensure this effort is strongly supported and aligned with the broader goals and vision of the City of Chester.
About Stormwater Authority of Chester
Our missions is to educate and inform the public about the various efforts the Stormwater Authority is making to help reduce stormwater runoff, as well as decrease the amount of pollution that gets carried into our local streams and the Delaware River as a result of stormwater runoff.
As a privately-owned company headquartered in East Greenwich, RI, Corvias partners with higher education and government institutions nationwide to solve their most essential systemic problems and create long-term, sustainable value through our unique approach to partnership. Corvias pursues the kinds of partnerships that materially and sustainably improve the quality of life for the people who call our communities home, purposefully choosing to partner with organizations who share our values and whose mission is to serve as the foundational blocks, or pillars, of our nation. For more information, visit www.corvias.com.