CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) held an in-person press briefing to announce investments in Pennsylvania’s energy infrastructure.

The Natural Gas Distribution Infrastructure Safety and Modernization (NGDISM) grant program is aimed at mitigating safety risk and methane emissions from the highest-risk, legacy natural gas distribution pipes. 

The City of Chambersburg is the recipient of $5.2 million of that funding.

“We’re proud of the fact we’ve never had a reportable gas safety incident. But we’re going to make sure that always stays that way,” said Natural Gas Utility Director John Leary.

These grants aim to improve 270 miles of high-risk, legacy pipes, creating hundreds of good-paying pipeline jobs and modernizing infrastructure that has been around for decades and in some cases even nearly two centuries old.   

“It’s hard to take the smile off my face it’s a huge, huge grant to get,” said Commissioner Allen Coffman.

The pipes that are being replaced are part of a project the borough started nearly 20 years ago; this money allows them to finish it.

“The last five miles is the most difficult five miles. It’s the most expensive five miles,” said Leary.

He notes the money couldn’t come at a better time as funding is hard to come by.