Thursday, May 25, 2023

Reminder: Deadline To Apply For DEP Growing Greener Plus, Section 319, SMCRA Mine Reclamation, Pipeline Penalty Projects, Stormwater Planning, Watershed Restoration Grants June 23

The Department of Environmental Protection is accepting applications for
Growing Greener Plus, Section 319 Watershed Restoration, Coal Mining Bond Forfeiture, Stormwater Planning Grant until June 23.  (formal notice)  

Growing Greener Plus

Growing Greener grants are designed to improve or protect this Commonwealth's waters from nonpoint source pollution associated with agricultural activities, acid mine drainage (AMD), stormwater runoff, energy resource extraction, and streambank and shoreline degradation, while Bond Forfeiture grants are designed to address legacy mining impacts.  (formal notice)

New this year, applicants may apply for Stormwater Management Planning (Act 167) grants under the Storm Water Management Act.

Eligible applicants include counties, municipalities, municipal authorities, county conservation districts, watershed organizations, councils of governments, educational institutions and other authorized organizations involved in water resource restoration and protection. The maximum Growing Greener grant request amount is $500,000.

The Department has identified multiple priority areas for this grant solicitation. Priority areas for Growing Greener grants include projects that reduce nonpoint source pollution, especially nitrogen, phosphorous and sediment pollution from agricultural and stormwater runoff. 

The Department is particularly interested in design and construction projects that implement effective best management practices (BMP) that reduce or eliminate pollutant loadings and lead to local water quality improvements. 

A new priority for Growing Greener grants are technical assistance projects that include public-private partnerships and that focus on multiple regions or Statewide scale with the purpose to expedite on-the-ground, BMP implementation.

SMCRA Abandoned Mine Restoration

Through the same application process, applicants can also apply for funding through the Department's SMCRA Grant Programs to address legacy mining impacts or Act 167 grants.   (formal notice)

Eligible Act 167 grant applicants include counties, municipalities and municipal authorities (only as a co-applicant with the municipality or municipalities they serve). 

SMCRA grants are available to various entities including municipalities, municipal authorities and nonprofit organizations for projects meeting AMD Set-Aside or Bond Forfeiture grant requirements. 

AMD Set-Aside Grants are no longer part of the Growing Greener Plus Grants Program. 

AMD projects remain eligible for Growing Greener; however, AMD discharges resulting from coal mining that was abandoned prior to 1977 are encouraged to apply to the Department's Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation's new Abandoned Mine Land (AML)/AMD Grant Program.

[Note: This Program has its own application deadlines: August 25 and December 2.]

Click Here for more information on SMCRA Mine Reclamation Grants.

Section 319 Grants

As part of the Department of Environmental Protection's (Department) Section 319 Nonpoint Source Management Grants Program.  (formal notice)

Eligible applicants include: incorporated watershed associations, counties or municipalities; county conservation districts; council of governments; or other authorized organizations including nonprofit organizations, educational institutions and municipal authorities.

The Department is focusing these grants on projects that reduce nonpoint source pollution in targeted watersheds with WIPs, especially projects that reduce nitrogen, phosphorous and sediment pollution from agricultural and stormwater runoff, along with AMD-related pollution from iron, aluminum and acidity. 

The Department is particularly interested in projects that implement effective best management practices (BMP) that reduce or eliminate stream impairments within WIP areas, leading to local water quality improvements.

Mariner East Penalty Projects

As part of a plea, Energy Transfer/Sunoco will also pay $10 million towards projects that improve the health and safety of water sources along the routes of the Mariner East II pipeline and the Revolution pipeline. (formal notice)

These funds will be dedicated to raising the quality of the watersheds and streams most impacted by pipeline construction above the quality level they were at before construction began. Energy Transfer is already required to restore the land they built through; none of these funds can be used for projects Energy Transfer is already required to complete.

Community organizations including watershed associations, conservancy groups, Trout Unlimited chapters or other volunteer organizations in one of the counties impacted by the pipelines should prepare project proposals to make our water cleaner and safer. 

Funds resulting from this plea will be directed through existing Commonwealth programs such as the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources' grant programs, Growing Greener Plus, the Coldwater Heritage Partnership and others. 

This way the Commonwealth can ensure projects are impactful, funding is used effectively, redundancies are limited and projects are completed which wouldn't have been possible without this compensation.

Visit DEP’s Growing Greener Plus webpage for more information on submitting applications.  (Growing Greener Plus - formal notice)  (Section 319- formal notice)

Related Grant Application Deadlines

-- Reminder CFA Accepting Applications For Act 13 Watershed Restoration, Mine Reclamation, Sewage, Flood Mitigation, Recreation Grants Due May 31

-- Reminder: Next Deadline Aug. 25 For DEP Local Federally-Funded Abandoned Mine Reclamation Grants

[Posted: May 25, 2023]  PA Environment Digest

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