The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration awarded Chambersburg an additional $5,564,097, Wednesday, for the replacement of legacy cast iron pipelines, which provides for greater reliability of the Borough’s natural gas infrastructure.

This funding will be coupled with more than $5 million that was granted to the Borough last year, with both awards being made via the Natural Gas Distribution Infrastructure Safety and Modernization Grant Program.

Since 2000, the Borough has replaced more than 21 of its 26 miles of cast iron pipes. Just less than five miles of legacy cast iron remain. “We have taken a very proactive approach to addressing our century-old cast iron pipelines; however, these lines have been cost prohibitive to replace due to their location under state roadways and in downtown areas,” John Leary, Director of Chambersburg Gas Department. “This funding assistance will greatly expedite our replacement program.”

The Borough’s proposed project will reduce the risk of methane leaks from existing pipelines, create well-paying jobs, promote economic growth, and benefit disadvantaged rural and urban communities with the safe provision of natural gas. The Borough Manager and Director of Utilities, Jeffrey Stonehill said, “We very much appreciate the support that we received for this initiative, especially from our federal legislators, Senator Bob Casey, Jr., Senator John Fetterman andRepresentative John Joyce.”

Phase 1 of the project, which was funded under the program last year, is already underway and will result in the replacement of roughly 3.5 miles of cast iron pipeline and unprotected steel gas mains with polyethylene plastic mains. Phase 2 funding will be directed at replacing the remaining 1.5 miles and is made possible through this most recent award.

The Borough is one of only two municipalities in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that owns and operates its own natural gas utility – the other being the City of Philadelphia. The Borough strives to generate benefits for its residents, providing customers with prompt, professional natural gas service and a reliable, safe system with affordable and stable rates. Residents of the Borough pay some of the lowest gas prices in Pennsylvania — an estimated 44 percent lower than the average private utility customer.

“We are very proud of our municipal gas utility, unique among Pennsylvania natural gas suppliers,” said Allen Coffman, Town Council President. “Chambersburg’s utilities make the Borough an outstanding place to live and we host a variety of businesses that benefit from low cost, reliable, and safe energy. With the assistance of this funding, Chambersburg Borough will continue to upgrade and improve our distribution system.”

The continued supply of reliable natural gas is critical to maintain economic growth and promote development in the Borough, which is one of the fastest growing areas in Franklin County. The project is also intended to provide natural gas service to several areas of the Borough that are classified as historically disadvantaged communities, ensuring that these communities are supplied affordable natural gas.

“It’s great to see the Borough of Chambersburg take action to promote community safety, lower energy costs, and protect residents’ access to a reliable utility grid. As Franklin County’s representative in Congress, I was proud to advocate for this grant to ensure that Chambersburg is able to continue to provide natural gas to residents through safer and more efficient pipes. It’s vital that our tax dollars come home to where they are needed and can be used to support our community,” said Representative John Joyce.

The Borough’s project is one of 130 projects aimed at fixing aging natural gas pipelines, helping reduce air pollution and reducing costs for ratepayers in 26 states. The President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law authorized the Natural Gas Distribution Infrastructure Safety and Modernization grant program, which provided nearly $1 billion in funding over the course of five years to modernize community-owned natural gas distribution pipes and help to keep communities across the country safe from dangers associated with pipeline leaks.