Friday, July 1, 2011

Next Round Of Growing Greener Watershed, Mine Reclamation Grants Now Being Accepted

The Department of Environmental Protection is now accepting applications for the next round of Growing Greener watershed restoration, Section 319 and local mine reclamation grants. A total of $10 million will be available for all three types of grants.
The deadline for applications is August 26.
Only about $6 million in Growing Greener funds will be available for this round of grants. At its peak, over $50 million in Growing Greener grants were made available in this program alone. $3 million is available for Section 319 grants and about $1 million for local mine reclamation grants.
There are no provisions in the newly adopted state budget for re-funding the Growing Greener Program which became all but bankrupt this year.
The Department will invest its limited Growing Greener funding in projects that will ultimately protect and/or restore this Commonwealth's watersheds from impairment due to nonpoint source pollution.
Examples of special priority areas include: projects located in ''priority'' watersheds that reduce the source of impairment; ''priority'' type activities that lead to water quality restoration or protection; and projects that support the installation of agricultural Best Management Practices to achieve compliance with existing agricultural water quality requirements.
Examples of eligible projects could include reducing nonpoint source pollution in watersheds where streams are impaired; integrating stormwater management into watershed management and water conservation strategies; and projects that will help reduce Total Maximum Daily Load pollutants.
Through the same application process, applicants can also apply for funding through the Department's Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act Grant Program and Section 319 Nonpoint Source Grant Program.
SMCRA grants are available to municipalities, municipal authorities and nonprofit organizations for projects meeting SMCRA grant requirements. Section 319 grants focus on funding similar projects to Growing Greener but with special emphasis within targeted watersheds.
Information on how to apply for the grants will be posted on DEP's Growing Greener webpage. (formal notice)

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