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PENNVEST Small Projects Guidance

Effective Date:  July 1, 2020


In its 1988 session, the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority Act (March 1, 1988, P.L. 82, No. 16), which was subsequently amended in 1992 (December 18, 2992, P.L. 1137, No. 149), 2005 (July 14, P.L. 299, No. 51) and 2013 (June 19 P.L.51,  No. 16) all of which is codified at 35 P.S. Section 751.1 et. seq. (the "Act"). The Act, among other things, created the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority ("PENNVEST") and authorized PENNVEST to establish revolving funds and accounts to administer its programs.  While PENNVEST's traditional assistance programs meet the needs of most potential funding applicants, many lower cost projects in small communities are presently not accessing the PENNVEST program for funding, in part due to the expense in complying with additional terms tied to the funds and the time delay between application and funding offer.   To address these issues, staff proposed to the Board that we provide up to $500,000 toward costs, per project, and that the Board allocate $15,000,000 toward the Small Project Initiative ("SPI") program in general, authorizing staff to conduct an expedited review on the applications and make the funding awards.  The SPI funding awards would be in the form of low interest loans only, no extended term bond purchases, grants or principal forgiveness loan awards.  The reviews and approvals would be expedited at the staff level reducing the time it takes to receive an award.   



PENNVEST will allocate available Commonwealth/PENNVEST revolving loan program recycled funds.


SPI funds are available to public or private entities implementing small eligible projects.  Small projects are defined as projects serving communities with a population of 12,000 people or less or projects having hookups of 1,000 or less, or projects involving an agriculture operation.


Under the SPI, eligible applicants are permitted to request $500,000 or less from PENNVEST, including contingency.  Total project costs at time of award may not exceed $1,000,000.  Requests for funding under the SPI are not eligible for PENNVEST extended term bond purchases, grant awards or principal forgiveness loans.

All project types defined in the PENNVEST Act are eligible for participation in the SPI except that land acquisition, silvicultural and projects with land conservation easements are not eligible for funding under the SPI program.  Those projects may submit application to PENNVEST for funding under the traditional PENNVEST program and if ranked sufficiently may be brought before the Board for consideration. Applicants must have all environmental permits in hand at time of application, if applicable.

The cost of any SPI project will be based on planning estimates.  Any funding increase request in excess of $500,000 must be submitted to the PENNVEST Board of Directors in accordance with standard protocols for increase requests.


The maximum term of loans under this initiative will be interest only for the construction period, not to exceed three (3) years, followed by a twenty (20) year principal and interest repayment term.  Interest rates on loans will be at the allowable county maximum rates, as defined in section 10(f) of the PENNVEST Act.   If a project qualifies for consideration of either an extended term bond purchase, a grant award or a principal forgiveness loan the applicant may qualify for an interest rate reduction or choose to withdraw the application from the SPI and submit the application for consideration under the traditional PENNVEST program.   


All applications will be received electronically through the PENNVEST portal and processed through traditional workflow with the objective of rendering a decision from staff within two (2) weeks of submittal.  Staff may, in its sole discretion or upon request of the applicant, move a project to the traditional program for full consideration by the PENNVEST Board of Directors. 


  • Davis Bacon Wage Rates

  • Architectural and Engineering Services Requirements

  • American Iron and Steel Requirements

  • Uniform Environmental Review Requirements

  • Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Requirements

  • Fiscal Sustainability Plan Requirements



  • Steel Products Procurement Act Requirements

  • "Or Equal" Bidding Requirements

  • Cost Effectiveness Requirements


Loan funds will be disbursed to the borrower on a reimbursement basis. As the borrower incurs expenses and receives bills for eligible activities, the borrower will prepare and submit a payment request to PENNVEST in accordance with established policies and procedures for PENNVEST's funds disbursement process.  Thereafter, the borrower will receive the funds electronically as a reimbursement for costs incurred.