Wednesday, January 26, 2022

DEP Announces More Than $1.7 Million In Growing Greener Grants To Fund Local Water Clean Up Projects In Northwest PA

On January 26, the Department of Environmental Protection announced seven projects aimed at cleaning up waters in the state’s northwest region have been selected to collectively receive more than $1.7 million in funding through
DEP’s Growing Greener Plus Program

“Growing Greener awardees help keep Pennsylvania clean,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “It is imperative that communities in Pennsylvania receive the necessary funding to reduce pollutants in area waterways.”

DEP announced funding for these seven awards at the Erie County Conservation District Office, which received one of the seven grants, plans to utilize these funds for the Pennsylvania Vested in Environmental Sustainability Program (PA VinES). 

The program works with viticulture and grape growing operations through a voluntary, proactive approach to assess agricultural operations for environmental and economic sustainability, fund best management practices identified by the assessments, and create a certification/recognition program. 

“The Pennsylvania Lake Erie Grape Region boasts approximately 10,000 acres of juice and wine grapes, making it the largest agricultural land use in the PA Lake Erie Basin,“ said Erin Wells, DEP Northwest Regional Director. “The PA VinES program is a vital asset to the region, as it promotes sustainable viticulture practices for Concord and Niagara grape production in the Lake Erie Watershed.”

Growing Greener projects in the northwest region include projects addressing stream bank restoration and in-stream habitat improvements, assisting farmers to install best management practices to reduce agricultural runoff to streams and rivers, and reducing nutrient and sediment pollution in the Lake Erie Watershed.

Northwest Region and Statewide Growing Greener Awardees include--

Armstrong County

-- Armstrong Conservation District, Mahoning-Redbank Creek Ag BMP Grant, $294,061

Erie County

-- Erie County Conservation District, PA VinES Program (Vested in Environmental Sustainability) in the Lake Erie Watershed, $249,500

-- City of Erie, McDannell Run Restoration Design and Construction, $248,000

Indiana County

-- Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, Yellow Creek Streambank Stabilization, $51,374

Jefferson County

-- Jefferson County Conservation District, Rattlesnake Creek Stream Improvement Project, $276,150

 McKean County

-- McKean County Conservation District, Upper Allegheny Ag. BMP Project, $382,492.

Venango County

-- Northwest Pennsylvania Eminent Community Institute, Management & Continuation of the Northwest PA Greenways Implementation Block Grants, $200,000.

Statewide, more than $18 million has been awarded to fund over 60 projects to clean up waters in the latest round of grants. Grantees have up to three years to implement their projects from the award date.

Growing Greener is the largest single investment of state funds in Pennsylvania's history to address Pennsylvania's critical environmental concerns of the 21st century.

It has helped to slash the backlog of farmland-preservation projects statewide, protect open space, eliminate the maintenance backlog in state parks, clean up abandoned mines and restore watersheds. 

It also provides funds for recreational trails and local parks, helps communities address land use, and provides new and upgraded water and sewer systems.

DEP is authorized to allocate these funds in grants for watershed restoration and protection, abandoned mine reclamation, and abandoned oil and gas well plugging projects.

Three other state agencies also received funds to distribute for appropriate projects: the Department of Agriculture to administer farmland preservation projects, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for state park renovations and improvements, and the PA Infrastructure Investment Authority for water and sewer system upgrades.

Upcoming Grant Opportunities

-- January 28:  PA Lake Management Society Project Mini-Grants

-- January 31:  Dept. Of Agriculture REAP Farm Conservation Tax Credits

-- January 31:  Turkey Hill Partnership/NRCS Farm Conservation Grants

-- Commonwealth Financing Authority Act 13 Drilling Impact Fee Funded Grants Typically Open February 1

-- February 1: Foundation For PA Watersheds Grants

-- February 14: Applications Now Being Accepted For 2022 Schuylkill River Restoration Fund; Land Transaction Assistance Grants

-- February 18: Lancaster Clean Water Partners Grant Deadline Reminder

-- March 4: Coldwater Heritage Partnership Conservation Grants

-- April 6: DCNR Community Conservation Partnership Grants

-- April 6: DCNR Riparian Forest Buffer Grants

-- April 13: NRCS Regional Conservation Partnership Grants

-- April 15:  Fish & Boat Commission Lancaster, York Habitat Grants

-- WeConservePA: Conservation Easement Transaction Assistance Grants Now Available 

-- August 12--  Foundation For PA Watersheds Grants

Visit the PA Environment Digest Grants & Awards webpage for more environmental and energy grant opportunities.

Related Articles This Week:

-- DEP Awards Borough Of Jim Thorpe $200,000 Growing Greener Grant For Stream Restoration Work In Carbon County 

-- DEP Announces $245,000 Growing Greener Grant For Kinney Run Watershed Improvements, Columbia County 

-- PA Resources Council, Partners Receive Growing Greener Grant For Delaware County Stormwater Management Project  

-- Witnesses Unanimously Support Allocating American Rescue Plan Funding For On-Farm Conservation Projects At House Committee Meeting; Rep. Metcalfe Calls It ‘Welfare’ 

-- PA State Government Has Refused To Pay Stormwater Management Fees To Local Authorities Designed To Meet Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Obligations 

Related Articles:

-- Chesapeake Bay Foundation Calls For Greater Investments To Reduce Pollution As Number Of Impaired Streams Increases In PA 

-- Two Bipartisan Bills Just Sitting In Senate Waiting To Address Record Number Of Water Quality Impaired Streams Reported In 2022  [PaEN]

-- DEP 2022 Water Quality Report Shows 27,886 Miles Of Streams With Impaired Water Quality In PA (33%) - An Increase From 25,468 In 2020  

[Posted: January 26, 2022]  PA Environment Digest

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