Friday, January 22, 2021

DEP Cancels 2021 Recycling Implementation Grant Round Because General Assembly Took $50 Million From Recycling Fund To Balance State Budget

The Department of Environmental Protection published
notice in the January 23 PA Bulletin cancelling the 2021 round of Section 902 Recycling Implementation Grants due to a lack of money in the Recycling Fund.  (formal notice)

DEP doesn't have enough money for grants because the General Assembly took $50 million from the Recycling Fund to balance the state budget adopted in November.  Read more here.

This is the first time in the Recycling Program's 33 year history a round of grants has been canceled.  Some have been delayed, not none canceled.

This action by the General Assembly leaves local governments saddled with the entire cost of local recycling programs, when Act 101 requires the state to make available grants that pay for many of their costs.

The General Assembly took a total of $201,977,000 from environmental and energy funds to balance the FY 2021-22 state budget.  Read more here.

In the last 13 years the General Assembly took over $3.4 BILLION in dedicated environmental and energy funds and diverted them to balance the state budget or for other purposes that could not get funded on their own.  Read more here.

This is the fourth time the General Assembly diverted money from the Recycling Fund to balance the budget.  The total diverted so far comes to $84 million.

Despite Public Support

Diverting and cutting environmental funding goes against what the voters say is a priority.

A poll released last October found nearly 90 percent of Pennsylvania voters want Senate and House members to address important environmental priorities and provide more funding for community-based environmental restoration and recreation projects and environmental programs.  Read more here.

Another Rough Budget Coming

Although the Independent Fiscal Office said Thursday state revenues, FY 2021-22 state budget discussions are again expected to threaten environmental funding, in particular funding for community-based environmental and recreation projects.

For more information on recycling financial assistance, visit DEP’s Recycling Financial Assistance webpage.

Related Articles:

-- 90% Of PA Voters Want Senate, House To Provide More Funding For Critical Environmental, Conservation Programs; That Didn’t Happen In 2020

-- $201,977,000 Diverted From Environment, Energy Funds To Balance FY 2020-21 State Budget

-- New Poll Shows 90% Of PA Voters Want Senate, House Members To Address Environmental, Conservation Priorities, Provide More Funding For Critical Programs

[Posted: January 22, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

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