Thursday, May 27, 2021

PA Receives $3.9 Million EPA Grant For Water Quality Improvement Projects In Chesapeake Bay Watershed

May 27, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced six states and the District of Columbia will share $7.25 million for actions to improve local rivers and streams in locations most beneficial to the downstream Chesapeake Bay.

Pennsylvania's share of the funding is $3,945,112.

The funds include a second year appropriation of $6 million for cleanup actions in the most effective basins (MEB) of the Bay watershed – areas where projects to reduce runoff from farm operations will yield the greatest progress toward achieving water quality standards in the Bay.

The additional $1.25 million is being designated for environmental justice areas within those most effective basins.

“We at EPA are committed to doing all we can to help our state partners reach their Bay cleanup goals and to ensure that underserved areas share in that effort,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Acting Regional Administrator Diana Esher.

For the second consecutive year, EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program budget received $6 million for “state-based implementation in the most effective basins.”  EPA identified those basins based on a finding that reducing excess nitrogen from agricultural sources would have the most impact on key areas of the Bay at the least cost.

As in 2020, the funding allocations reflect commitments to reduce farm-based pollutants made by the states in their most recent Bay cleanup plans.  

Pennsylvania, whose Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan anticipates 61.6 percent of its nitrogen reductions to come from agriculture, has 26 of the top 30 most effective basins, including all of the top 15.

EPA is focusing the additional $1.25 million in areas identified as being most effective for improving water quality while targeting underrepresented communities.  

The funds will be allocated based on the formula used for the annual Chesapeake Bay Implementation Grants (CBIG) – 20 percent shares to Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia, and 10 percent shares to the District of Columbia, Delaware, New York and West Virginia.

PA Chesapeake Bay Plan

For more information on Pennsylvania’s plan, visit DEP’s Chesapeake Bay Office webpage.

How Clean Is Your Stream?

DEP’s Interactive Report Viewer allows you to zoom in on your own stream or watershed to find out how clean your stream is or if it has impaired water quality using the latest information in the draft 2020 Water Quality Report.

[Posted: May 27, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

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