Carper, Coons, Blunt Rochester Announce $3 Million Investment to Upgrade Wilmington’s Wastewater Infrastructure

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U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons, along with Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester, proudly announced today a significant federal investment of $3,060,000 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to support the rehabilitation and repair of Wilmington’s aging sewer infrastructure. The funds, secured through the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023, will address critical needs in the Prices Run area, focusing on a century-old underground sewage-stormwater pipe.

Expressing gratitude to President Joe Biden and the Delaware federal delegation for their instrumental role in securing the funding, Senator Carper, Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, emphasized the importance of these resources in fortifying Wilmington against climate change impacts. “These upgrades will help prevent flooding and preserve the integrity of surrounding bodies of water, including the Brandywine River,” he stated.

Senator Coons, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, echoed the significance of maintaining essential public works infrastructure. “This investment will ensure that Wilmington is equipped to grow and thrive for decades to come,” he affirmed.

Congresswoman Blunt Rochester, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, highlighted the role of resilient wastewater infrastructure in community and environmental well-being. “Today’s investment from the EPA will help repair the aging wastewater infrastructure in the City of Wilmington, extending its durability to last another 50 years and contributing to reduced flooding, enhanced quality of life, and strengthened economic development,” she stated.

Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki, joined by Public Works Commissioner Kelly Williams, expressed gratitude for the federal support. “This interceptor project will improve the combined stormwater and sewer infrastructure that was originally built in the early 1900s. The focus of the Biden Administration on addressing infrastructure needs in disadvantaged areas is exemplified by this award, meeting critical local needs and ensuring the resilience of our Prices Run infrastructure for another half-century,” said Mayor Purzycki.

BACKGROUND:

Under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023, Congress allocated resources for 715 congressionally directed water infrastructure projects (EPA Community Grants), totaling $1.47 billion. Senators Carper and Coons and Congresswoman Blunt Rochester played pivotal roles in supporting this project.

The City of Wilmington plans to utilize the grant to rehabilitate and repair approximately a mile-and-a-half of combined sewer main constructed of concrete or brick pipe in the early 1900s. The modifications aim to decrease the potential for localized flooding, improve flow control, and extend the life of the pipeline by another 50 years.

The project area will span from West 28th Street between North Jefferson Street and Jessup Street, continue on Jessup Street between West 28th Street and East 26th Street, and then proceed on East 26th Street between Jessup Street and North Locust Street before extending to the Brandywine River.

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