Skip to Content

Press Releases

Cartwright Successfully Steers Another $15.35 Million Back to Northeast PA

Congressman’s FY24 Wins Include Major Investments Aimed at Growing the Local Economy, Shoring Up Infrastructure, and Fortifying Regional Police Efforts

In the three years since Community Project Funding was reintroduced, Cartwright has secured more than $83 million in federal tax dollars for Northeast Pennsylvania

Today, U.S. Congressman Matt Cartwright (PA-08), a senior member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee and Ranking Member of the Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Subcommittee, proudly announced that $15.35 million in federal funding is headed back to Northeast Pennsylvania.

For the third year in a row, Rep. Cartwright secured funding for all 15 of his FY2024 Community Project Funding requests in this year’s government funding package that passed the House on Friday and was signed into law on Saturday.

Cartwright’s funding highlights include $1.6 million for track upgrades necessary for the return of passenger rail service; $7.24 million in much-needed infrastructure and transportation upgrades in the form of water treatment, flood protection and paving projects throughout Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe and Pike counties; $2.9 million to further develop a Luzerne County-based Industrial Hemp Engine; and $2.6 million in support of local law enforcement, police and emergency first responders in Lackawanna, Monroe and Luzerne counties.

“As a Member of Congress, my main responsibility is to deliver federal tax dollars back to the people I serve. In the three years since Community Project Funding was reintroduced, I’ve proudly secured more than $83 million in federal funds for Northeast Pennsylvania,” Cartwright said. "These projects will make a real difference in our district by strengthening infrastructure, creating good-paying jobs, supporting public safety, and boosting economic development.”

The full list of Cartwright’s FY2024 Community Project Funding recipients includes:

Local Law Enforcement and Emergency First Responders - $2.6 million

The $2.6 million in funding for regional law enforcement funding includes $963,000 for the newly formed Wyoming Area Regional Police Department for police cruisers, body cameras and other essential equipment. Formed on Jan. 1, 2023, the Wyoming Area Regional Police Department serves the municipalities of Wyoming, West Wyoming, West Pittston and Exeter boroughs and Exeter Township.

“The Wyoming Area Regional Police Department is grateful for the efforts of Congressman Cartwright in securing these federal funds,” said Michael Turner, Chief of Police for the Wyoming Area Regional Police Department. “New cruisers and upgraded equipment will help us better respond to emergencies and protect the residents of Luzerne County. When it comes to providing the highest level of police services possible to all the communities we serve, this money will prove essential.”

Another $637,195 is going to the City of Scranton for a new Emergency Operations and Training Center, a mixed-use facility that will house emergency response personnel (police, fire, and emergency medical services) and will serve Lackawanna County and surrounding municipalities.

"We are grateful to Rep. Cartwright for this appropriation of $637,195 for Scranton's future Emergency Operations and Training Center,” said Scranton Fire Chief and Emergency Management Coordinator John Judge. “These funds will give us the ability to monitor and plan responses to large-scale disasters and coordinate resources around large community events that impact our residents and the broader Scranton area. By creating a new centralized location for emergency response, recovery support, and disaster training, we will improve services for our residents."

The Monroe County District Attorney’s office will also receive $1,009,000 for the county’s Safety-First Network Project and its Major Crime Case Unit.  This project will fund new justice information-sharing and vital communication upgrades to infrastructure and technology, moving the county emergency network to a digital system. Through these upgrades, the Monroe County Safety First Network will serve citizens through quicker and more efficient responses and investigations of criminal activity and emergencies.

“This funding is an important first step in getting this vital project off the ground,” said Monroe County Commissioner John Christy. “This money will help us provide a safe and secure communication system for our law enforcement officers and we appreciate Congressman Cartwright’s efforts.”  

The Return of Passenger Rail to NYC - $1.6 million

This $1.6 million in federal funds secured by Cartwright will contribute to the local share of a $3.7 million state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) grant for the replacement of 42,956 railroad ties on the Pocono Mainline. 

“This additional $1.6 million secured by Congressman Cartwright is the first major step in preparing the Pocono Mainline for the return of rail passenger service by the establishment of intercity service by Amtrak between Scranton, the Poconos and New York City’s Penn Station,” said Larry Malski, president of the Pennsylvania Northeast Regional Rail Authority (PNRRA). “This funding will also increase the safety and efficiency of PNRRA’s current rail operators, the Delaware-Lackawanna Railroad and Steamtown National Historic Site.”

Infrastructure and Transportation Upgrades - $7.24 million

Clinton Township Wastewater Treatment Plan Clarifier Replacement - $959,757

The project will upgrade the Lackawanna River Basin Sewer Authority’s Clinton Township wastewater treatment plant. Specifically, funds will be used to construct new secondary clarifiers, which are a key component of the treatment plant that allow the biological sludge to settle out of the wastewater during the treatment process, producing clear, treated water suitable for discharge to the Lackawanna River.

East Interceptor Rehabilitation Project – $959,757

The project will upgrade the Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority’s combined storm/wastewater system to reduce pollution from raw waste and other contaminants during large rain events. This upgrade will protect the levee, minimizing the risk of a flooding and pollution event. Funds will be used to replace the structural lining of an aged wastewater interceptor that conveys 65-70% of total service area flows for 36 municipalities.

State Route 209 Hamilton West Resurfacing - $980,000

This project involves highway resurfacing of Hamilton West (State Route 209) in Hamilton Township, as well as improvements to two structures that carry State Route 209. This section of State Route 209 has an average daily traffic of over 12,500 vehicles each day and will address the poor roadway condition, decreasing the cost of ongoing roadway maintenance.

Rehabilitation of Bridge on State Route 6 over the Delaware River - $980,000

This project will rehabilitate the bridge on State Route 6 (Pennsylvania Avenue) that spans over the Delaware River in Matamoras Borough. The existing structure is a two-span, steel truss bridge built in 1939. The project involves replacement of the existing bridge deck with a new reinforced concrete deck, along with minor steel repairs and substructure repairs as necessary. The funding will also ensure the safety of the 17,478 vehicles traveling between Northeastern Pennsylvania and Southeastern New York using this bridge.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport Terminal Expansion and Improvements - $980,000

This project will expand terminal space by approximately 10,000 square feet and incorporate the latest screening technology, increase queuing space for security screening, improve air quality, and other public health measures. The project will also implement a separate exit lane for off-boarding passengers, which will reduce the conflict that currently exists with departing and arriving passengers crossing each other near the stairs and escalators.

Brodhead Creek Regional Authority: Pocono Township CorridorWater Main Corrosion Mitigation and Replacement Project and Core System Improvements - $1 million

This project is for the engineering design, permitting, and bidding of a water main corrosion mitigation and replacement project in the Pocono Township Commercial Corridor. Phase I begins a process that will involve the removal of an existing, corroded 12-inch ductile iron piping and installation of a new 16-inch corrosion-resistant water main, which will improve pressure and flow within the entire water distribution system.

Dam No. 5 and Spillway Rehabilitation Project - $1,383,069

The project includes flood reduction and resilience measures for Lackawanna County’s Dam No. 5. The project will include the following rehabilitation work: reconstruction of the concrete spillway to accommodate 100% of the spillway design flood, reconstruction of the first 45’ of rock walls adjacent to the concrete spillway, raising of the existing concrete cutoff wall by 1’, installation of a structural pipe liner within the low-level outlet pipe, and installation of a new sluice gate at the outlet control building. This project will improve flood protection for 3,000 people and a school.

A New Healthy Living and Wellness Center - $1 million

This $1 million award will go towards the creation of a health care center in Blakely that will be focused on keeping the population healthy and out of the hospital. As the awardee, the Lackawanna County Department of Health and Human Services will use a combination of digital technology to diagnose and treat health risks and engage patients in wellness programs designed to mitigate health risks and promote overall well-being.

Industrial Hemp Manufacturing Collaboration - $2.9 million

This $2.9 million funding package includes $980,000 for the Downtown Hazleton Alliance for Progress to construct a center for plant science innovation, including a bioscience laboratory, a rooftop greenhouse with solar panels, and an incubator that’s designed to meet the needs of bioscience start-up companies.

Lackawanna College will receive $963,000 for research into industrial hemp seed development for building construction and new textiles, all made with industrial hemp. The college will explore, for example, the best processes and materials to make concrete and bioplastics using hemp fiber.

Another $963,000 will go to Hazleton-based Vytal Plant Science Research for a Mobile STEM Education Lab to be used by a consortium of school districts and higher education institutions in Northeastern Pennsylvania to recruit, engage and educate students in scientific fields.

This latest award to Vytal Plant Science Research builds on the $1 million National Science Foundation (NSF) Award Cartwright announced in May of 2023 for the development of a Pennsylvania Industrial Hemp Engine to, in part, support the development, manufacture and deployment of innovative, bio-based products for building construction, packaging and fabrics.

Vytal Plant Science Research is a non-profit biotechnology corporation that is already partnering with farms and private industries throughout the district that are cultivating, brokering and manufacturing industrial hemp-based products.

"We are excited and grateful to Congressman Cartwright for his ongoing support,” said Tom Trite, CEO of Vytal Plant Science Research. “The creation of the Plant Science Innovation lab in downtown Hazleton will foster economic growth and serve as the hub of collaboration between K-12 schools and businesses in the region to address areas of workforce development needs and train people with skills in plant biology and agriculture. A mobile STEM laboratory will enable promising low-income students from underrepresented backgrounds and socioeconomically disadvantaged communities to pursue careers in critical STEM fields. We are incredibly excited to partner with Dr. Sairam Rudrabhatla, Professor and Chair of Biology at Penn State, and Dr. Jill Murray, President of Lackawanna College."

“The federal funding I secured will boost an industry that was once a staple of Pennsylvania’s economy and today presents further opportunities for new businesses, farm income, good-paying jobs and environmentally sound products,” Cartwright added. “Industrial hemp offers an excellent opportunity to grow a whole new industry in Northeast Pennsylvania from the ground up.”