Tuesday, April 17, 2018

DEP Establishes New Water Quality Project Grant Program With $12.6 Million Mariner East 2 Pipeline Penalty

The Department of Environmental Protection Tuesday announced it has created a new water quality project grant program with the $12.6 million penalty assessed against the Mariner East 2 Pipeline.
Grants will be awarded for projects that reduce or minimize pollution and protect clean water in the 85 municipalities along the length of the pipeline corridor.
Eligible grant applicants include the 85 municipalities, county conservation districts, incorporated watershed associations, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations along the length of the MEII pipeline.
The 45-day grant application round will open May 7 and close June 21. DEP anticipates announcing the approved projects in the summer of 2018.
Examples of eligible projects include (but are not limited to:
-- Projects to improve water quality while enhancing community recreational opportunities, such as restoration and enhancement of natural water resource features at community parks and public properties, including lake restoration and wetland creation.
-- Projects to educate future generations about water resource protection, such as demonstration projects that showcase pervious pavement, stormwater runoff management features and systems, bioretention systems, constructed wetland complexes, stormwater runoff collection and reuse projects, stormwater mitigation projects that reduce rate and volume and improve water quality on a school or other public property.
-- Projects to improve and/or protect public drinking water sources and infrastructure, such as repairs to drinking water system source facilities that improve resiliency of the water supply, including water supply dam rehabilitation work and upgrades, and repairs to water treatment infrastructure and water intakes.
-- Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) projects to address rate, volume and/or sediment load, including flood-control project features and retrofits to existing stormwater runoff control infrastructure that reduce rate and volume of stormwater runoff.
-- Projects that result in nitrogen, phosphorus, sediment load reductions within the Chesapeake Bay watershed and impaired waters, including stream buffers, stream restoration projects, wetland restoration or enhancement projects.
-- Projects that result in water quality improvements in DEP Priority Watersheds and Impaired Watersheds within the 85 municipalities.
“It is important that we utilize this funding in an impactful way that will support long-term water quality improvement projects in these communities,” said Gov. Tom Wolf.
In February, DEP collected the $12.6 million penalty for permit violations related to the construction of the project. The penalty, one of the largest collected in a single settlement, was deposited into the Clean Water Fund and the Dams and Encroachments Fund, in accordance with the provisions of the Clean Streams Law and the Dam Safety and Encroachments Act.
These grants will be directed to the municipalities to eliminate pollution and protect the public from unsafe dams, water obstructions, and encroachments.
“DEP will continue to both monitor permit compliance and ensure that Sunoco addresses and remedies all pipeline project impacts, which are separate from this penalty. Our goal with the penalty grant is to aid municipal leaders in providing meaningful local environmental benefits,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell.
If a resident should witness pollution from the pipeline affecting streams or other waterways, then please alert DEP at 1-800-541-2050.
Click Here for more information and how to apply.  Questions should be directed to R. Scott Carney, Chief Watershed Support Section, 717-783-2944.
For more information on DEP’s actions, visit DEP’s Mariner East II Pipeline webpage.
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