The Commonwealth Financing Authority will be accepting the next round of applications for grants funded by Act 13 for watershed restoration, abandoned mine drainage abatement, baseline water quality data, orphan or abandoned well plugging, sewage facilities and flood mitigation programs starting March 1. The deadline for applications is June 30.
Here’s a quick summary of what’s available and the links for more details--
-- Watershed Restoration: The overall goal of the Watershed Restoration and Protection Program is to restore, and maintain restored stream reaches impaired by the uncontrolled discharge of nonpoint source polluted runoff, and ultimately to remove these streams from the Department of Environmental Protection’s Impaired Waters list.
-- Abandoned Mine Drainage Abatement and Treatment: Projects which involve the reclamation of Abandoned Mine Well(s), construction of a new AMD site, remediation and repair of existing AMD project sites, operation and maintenance maintaining current AMD remediation sites, establishment of trust fund to ensure ongoing maintenance is achieved, and monitoring of water quality to track or continue to trace nonpoint source load reductions resulting from AMD remediation projects.
-- Flood Mitigation: Projects authorized by a flood protection authority, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) or the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) or identified by a local government for flood mitigation are eligible for the program.
The program funds activities to promote the utilization, development and construction of alternative and clean energy projects, infrastructure associated with compressed natural gas and liquified natural gas fueling stations, plus energy efficiency and energy conservation projects in the state.
Applicants are strongly urged to contact their House and Senate member to make them aware you intend to submit an application for funding under theses programs.
For more information and instructions on how to apply, visit the Commonwealth Financing Authority Alternative and Clean Energy Grant Program webpage. Eligible applicants are encouraged to call 717-787-6245 to discuss potential projects.
TTF’s mission is to improve the health and vitality of our watershed by engaging our communities in education, stewardship, restoration, and advocacy. They initiate and support efforts to restore the health of the watershed, and mobilize watershed stewards through outreach, education, and hands-on projects.
The watershed includes neighborhoods in North, Northeast, and Northwest Philadelphia and the communities of Abington, Cheltenham, Jenkintown, Rockledge, and Springfield in Montgomery County.
Working closely with communities, TTF supports the Philadelphia Water Department’s Green City Clean Waters 25-year plan to protect our watershed by managing stormwater through innovative green infrastructure.
They implement and encourage these same strategies with our partners in our upstream communities.
Currently, TTF is working closely with key stakeholders including the Philadelphia Water Department, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, Cheltenham Township, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, the Abington School District and others to support overall green infrastructure and stream restoration initiatives in the region.
TTF is proud to serve as the connector between these organizations and watershed neighbors, sharing information and on-the-ground education to assist with adoption of these measures.
On March 9 the PA Supreme Court will hear an appeal of a 2015 Commonwealth Court decision upholding the right of the General Assembly and the governor to transfer monies from DCNR’s Oil and Gas Fund to the General Fund and the use of those funds for DCNR State Park and State Forest Operations.
On Wednesday, the Independent Fiscal Office released its economic outlook and state revenue forecast that highlighted projected revenue going into the Oil and Gas Lease Fund is expected to drop 38 percent in the current FY 2015-16 to $71 million from $115 million last fiscal year (page 46). Revenues will increase slowly in the coming years and not recover to $118 million until FY 2018-19 (page 73).
In FY 2014-15 the Oil and Gas Lease Fund supported $122.6 million in operating costs and the General Fund only $14.5 million. In FY 2008-09 the General Fund support for DCNR was $113 million and Oil and Gas Lease Fund revenue $11.8 million, nearly the reverse.
Gov. Wolf's proposed last year to begin the process of weaning DCNR off of the Oil and Gas Lease Fund to pay for administrative costs with a $21.8 million General Fund appropriation. His proposal was included in the Republican budget passed in December and signed into law by the Governorwith $48.7 million more in General Fund money for DCNR's General Government, State Parks and State Forest Operations line items.
In one week the Environmental Quality Board will be voting on Final Rulemaking from the Department of Environmental Protection to implement a series of critical improvements to Pennsylvania’s oil and gas regulations.
This rulemaking, which has been in development for over four years, is in the final stages
of the approval process. But first it must be approved by the EQB.
Oil and Gas Lease Fund revenues are expected to drop 38 percent in the current FY 2015-16 to $71 million from $115 million last fiscal year. Revenues will increase slowly in the coming years and not recover to $118 million until FY 2018-19 (page 73).
York County has again taken the initiative to address clean water issues. Based on support from residents, the county commissioners approved moving forward with a study of how to establish a stormwater authority.
Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, its local affiliates and partners, held cleanup events in 2015 resulting in removing over 7.5 million pounds of trash, 1.9 million pounds of electronics waste, over 53,000 tires and involved over 590,500 volunteers.
The Williams Pipeline Company recently donated $2,400 to the Game Commission to be used for camera-aided enforcement to protect bat caves from intrusions. The funds will go toward adding six new cameras in two new sites.
This Blog is a companion to www.PaEnvironmentDigest.com, the weekly online newsletter published by Crisci Associates, Harrisburg, PA.
I can be contacted at 717-576-0420 or by sending email to: DHess@CrisciAssociates.com.
I served as Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection from 2001 to 2003, Executive Deputy at DEP from 1995 to 2001, as staff to the PA Senate Environmental Committee and various positions in the former Department of Environmental Resources, working on environmental issues for nearly 40 years.