Wednesday, January 9, 2019

DEP Awards 5 Grants Totaling Over $1 Million In Delaware, Lancaster, Lycoming Counties To Reduce Pollution From Stormwater Runoff, Install Stream Buffers

On January 8 and 9, the Department of Environmental Protection announced the award of 5 grants totaling $1,059,612 to organizations and local governments in Delaware, Lancaster and Lycoming counties to reduce pollution from stormwater runoff, install forested stream buffers and do streambank restoration.
Delaware County
The Department of Environmental Protection awarded 3 Growing Greener grants totaling $332,328 to study, manage and reduce pollution from stormwater runoff in Delaware County.
The $157,575 awarded to the nonprofit Pennsylvania Resources Council, Inc. will expand on a previously funded Grower Greener project designed to empower residents to do their part in reducing the impacts of uncontrolled runoff by deploying simple, low-cost techniques on their properties.
Newtown Township was awarded a $11,857 grant to design and construct two rain gardens on Township-owned properties to treat stormwater runoff from existing impervious surfaces.
Villanova University was awarded a $162,896 grant to utilize existing stormwater facilities on its campus to quantitatively research and evaluate stormwater collection and reuse techniques.
“Whether it’s a rain barrel, a garden designed by an engineer, or state of the art research, every effort makes a difference when it comes to stormwater”, said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “There is no effort too small or ambition too high in addressing one of the biggest challenges facing our urban environments.”
Lancaster County
The Department of Environmental Protection awarded a $400,000 Growing Greener Grant to the nonprofit Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Inc. to incentive the installation of riparian stream buffers in Lancaster County.
The grant will improve water quality by accelerating the implementation of riparian buffers in priority watersheds in Lancaster County through the creation of a multi-faceted incentive program.
The incentives will encourage farmers to stabilize streambanks, install or restore riparian buffers, and install stormwater structures which will result in estimated annual reductions of 425 tons of sediment, more than 3,500 pounds of phosphorus, and nearly 4,000 pounds of nitrogen to streams, creeks, and rivers.
“Riparian buffers serve as a transition from land to water and act as filters that reduce the amount of sediment and other pollutants entering our waterways,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “Limiting such runoff improves local water quality, and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay.”
Lycoming County
The Department of Environmental Protection awarded a $327,284 grant to the Lycoming County Commissions to implement the Muncy Creek Streambank Restoration and Protection Project located in Hughesville Borough and Wolf Township, Lycoming County.
The project will stabilize 500 feet of streambank that has been eroded by numerous flood events, sending an estimated 4,000 tons of sediment downstream over the past seven years.  The stream has migrated close to a well pump house that provides public drinking water to 2,900 area residents. The site is vulnerable to additional damage and the public water supply well is at risk of total loss if action is not taken.
“This project to correct severe streambank erosion will also protect critical public drinking water infrastructure and reduce sediment pollution in the Chesapeake Bay watershed,” said Gov. Tom Wolf. “Lycoming County has experienced flooding events with significant impacts over several consecutive years. Restoring this section of Muncy Creek and stopping this erosion will provide a substantial benefit to the community.”
During the grant application review process, subsequent flooding carved Muncy Creek more than six feet closer to the water supply well, increasing the project cost over initial estimates and making the danger to public infrastructure more acute. A portion of the access road to the well house has already been washed away.
“This award is an opportunity for multiple levels of government to work together efficiently, as conditions and project costs have changed on the ground,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell.
Streambank restoration has been shown to improve the biological integrity of a stream by reducing pollution runoff. Muncy Creek is a trout-stocked fishery.
The Growing Greener grant program is supported by the Environmental Stewardship Fund, which receives its funding from landfill tipping fees and a transfer from the Marcellus Shale Legacy Fund.
Click Here for more information on DEP’s Growing Greener Plus Grant Program.
For more information on buffers, financial and technical assistance available, visit DCNR’s Forest Buffers and DEP’s Stormwater Management webpages.
CFA Accepting Applications
The Commonwealth Financing Authority will accept applications from February 1 to May 31 for its Act 13 Watershed Restoration Grants which includes funding control nonpoint source pollution runoff, which includes agricultural operations.  Click Here for more.
New DCNR Grant Round
Learn more about grant opportunities to support riparian buffer, trail and recreation projects, visit DCNR’s Community Conservation Grant Program webpage. A new grant round is opening January 22 and will close April 10.  Click Here for more.
Forest Buffer Summit
Registration is now open for the DCNR and Western PA Conservancy Pennsylvania Riparian Forest Buffer Summit on February 20-21 at the Best Western Premier Conference Center, 800 East Park Drive in Harrisburg.  Click Here for more.
(Photo: Stream buffer in Delaware County.)
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