Gov. Tom Corbett Wednesday announced the Department of Environmental Protection will invest more than $20.65 million in watershed protection projects to improve watersheds, reduce stormwater runoff and acid mine drainage and support educational programs, among other environmental efforts.
“Maintaining water quality and protecting Pennsylvania’s resources is an important focus of my administration,” Corbett said. “The millions invested in these grants demonstrate our continued commitment to protecting and preserving our environment and natural resources for generations to come.”
This year, the Growing Greener program, funded by the Environmental Stewardship Fund, will award $15,120,608 for 97 projects around the state. Four additional projects, funded by the Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Grant, will receive $1,953,947. Two additional grants, totaling $406,975, are funded by the AMD Set Aside Program.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Section 319 Nonpoint Source Management Program, that was created through the federal Clean Water Act to help reduce water pollution from nonpoint sources, is funding 15 additional projects, totaling $3,174,807.
These projects will reduce nonpoint source pollution in impaired streams by implementing agricultural and stormwater best management practices (BMPs); developing, repairing or installing passive systems to treat AMD; and supporting the establishment of riparian buffers, among other methods.
Two of the primary goals under Pennsylvania’s Growing Greener Program are to invest in projects that protect watersheds from impairment due to nonpoint source pollution and to restore waterways damaged by non-point source pollution.
Some examples of priority activities are restoration work to reduce pollutant load in impaired watersheds for which total maximum daily loads have been developed; projects in priority watersheds that would reduce the source of impairment; and priority activities that lead to water quality restoration and protection.
In this latest grant round, 162 eligible applicants requested about $41.8 million.
Applications came from counties, authorities and other municipalities; county conservation districts; councils of governments; watershed organizations that promote local watershed conservation efforts; and other authorized organizations involved in restoring and protecting the environment.
A list of projects funded is available online.For more information, visit DEP’s Growing Greener webpage or call 717-705-4500.