The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has restored $3 million in program funding to the Department of Environmental Protection based on the new strategies Commonwealth agencies announced on January 21.
The Commonwealth’s comprehensive strategy was developed collaboratively between DEP and Pennsylvania departments of Agriculture and Conservation and Natural Resources.
The funding will primarily support installation of best management practices by farmers and the operations of County Conservation Districts. EPA will award the funds to DEP when Federal budget authority for the new fiscal year is finalized.
In a letter dated January 20, 2016, to DEP Secretary John Quigley, EPA Regional Administrator Shawn Garvin wrote, “EPA appreciates Pennsylvania’s commitment to get back on-track with nutrient reduction measures necessary to achieve the Chesapeake Bay goals.” The “submission, 18-month strategy and draft implementation plan contain many actions that can serve as building blocks to accelerate the pace of implementation.”
“Pennsylvania was not on track to meet nutrient reduction targets, and EPA made clear in 2015 that it would withhold funding due to that lack of progress. DEP worked with our sister agencies and wrote a plan that will put us on track,” said Quigley.
“This restored funding will be targeted by DEP to begin implementation of our rebooted strategy. It is a start – but only that. We have a long way to go in our efforts to assemble additional resources and to do the work to improve local water quality in Pennsylvania, and that of the Chesapeake Bay.”For more information, visit DEP’s Chesapeake Bay Strategy webpage.
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