DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Weatherization Assistance Program; Proposed State Plan; Virtual Public Hearing
[52 Pa.B. 2132]
[Saturday, April 9, 2022]
The Department of Community and Economic Development (Department) publishes notice of a public hearing to be held electronically, by means of web/conference call on Wednesday, April 20, 2022. This public hearing will only be held virtually by means of the method listed. There will be no in-person opportunity to attend the virtual public hearing.
The virtual public hearing by means of the web/conference call will be held at 1 p.m. and will last as long as there are comments to be received. This more widely available computer access/conference call will replace the onsite public hearing. The format will be more accessible than an in-person meeting because those who wish to make comment may participate directly from their electronic device, telephone or computer. Access information can be found at the end of this notice.
The purpose of this virtual public hearing is to receive comments on the proposed Pennsylvania 2022-2023 annually appropriated United States Department of Energy (DOE) Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) State Plan (Plan).
The proposed 2022-2023 Plan will authorize the formula-based distribution for each county. Specific performance goals emphasize production, quality of the work product, prompt, accurate and complete reporting, and compliance with program standards and regulations.
The Plan includes the following changes:
• A plan to review the Commonwealth's options due to delays in the availability of the WAP Assistant, National Energy Audit Tool and the Manufactured Home Energy Audit Tool and to receive DOE approval of the Home Energy Audit Processes, Policies and Procedures to include an energy audit tool for single family and manufactured housing.
• Multifamily policies and procedures as well as audit tool research will continue to be explored to move forward for DOE approval.
• The name change of subgrantee Scranton/Lackawanna Human Development Agency to Agency on Community EmPOWERment of the National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C.A. §§ 4321—4370m-11).
• Categorical eligibility will have two additional categories: Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and United States Housing and Urban Development means-tested programs. Already categorically eligible: Supplemental Security Income and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
• The DOE Weatherization Service Provider Allocation formula has been changed to reflect the recommendations of the Allocation Committee. Poverty and Heating Degree Day data has been updated, a base amount using the legacy allocation formula is utilized and a new category of energy burden has been added.
• Reweatherization language updates based on DOE language clarification regarding weatherization with other Federal funds. The Commonwealth will continue to define both LIHEAP and DOE completed units as weatherized, and those units cannot be weatherized until 15 years after the original weatherization completion date.
• Health and Safety Plan updates to include utilizing a new DOE health and safety template, repairing or replacing existing air-cooling systems for vulnerable citizens, a DOE-developed deferral tracking spreadsheet will be provided and required.
• T/TA Plan updates to include a plan to provide reimbursement for direct hire and subcontractors' attendance in Home Energy Professional and required trainings.
• Diversity, equity and inclusion language to include current trainings which are provided and other activities conducted at the Grantee/State level and suggestions for subgrantees.
There is a continued National focus on coordination of efforts where other health and safety, lead-abatement, utility weatherization and housing rehab services are coordinated locally with weatherization services.
Copies of the proposed 2022-2023 DOE WAP Plan may be obtained beginning April 8, 2022, by contacting the Department of Community and Economic Development, Center for Community Services, (717) 425-7597 or it can be downloaded from the Department's web site at www.dced.pa.gov. Written comments may be submitted electronically to email@example.com until 5 p.m. on April 20, 2022. There is no registration. Individuals may join the virtual public hearing by connecting to Microsoft Teams at https://teams.microsoft.com/l/meetup-join/19 %3ameeting_OWI2ZTdhM2EtMGZjOS00ZTk4LTk4OGIt NWI2MjQ4NTQyYTUx%40thread.v2/0?context=%7b%22 Tid%22%3a%22418e2841-0128-4dd5-9b6c-47fc5a9a1bde %22%2c%22Oid%22%3a%22c8c9df7c-1884-4a14-820e-8fc755829b57%22%7d. Individuals can join the virtual public hearing by phone at (267) 332-8737. The conference ID number is 666 136 10#.
The virtual public hearing will be shortened if there is no one to testify or there is minimal response.
Persons with a disability who wish to participate in this virtual public hearing should contact Yvonne Adams at (717) 425-7597 to discuss how the Department may accommodate their needs.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 22-523. Filed for public inspection April 8, 2022, 9:00 a.m.]
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