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Thursday, January 6, 2011

PA Passes Out $14.1 Million For Acid Mine Drainage Projects/ Others

Governor Rendell: Latest Growing Greener Grants Making Real, Positive Difference for Communities, Environment
87 Grants from to Improve Water Quality, Restore Lands

HARRISBURG -- In announcing the latest round of Growing Greener grants—as well as funding from the federal government—Governor Edward G. Rendell said today that the commonwealth is investing in projects that provide visible and measurable improvements to the environment despite the increasingly limited nature of the funds.

All told, the Governor said the state was awarding $14.1 million for 87 projects in 36 counties that would, among other things, plant more than 100 miles of riparian buffers, improve stream banks along nearly 30,000 feet of waterway, and treat hundreds of millions of gallons of acid mine drainage each year.

Additionally, the Governor said a portion of the projects are serving to educate the public, school children and farmers about good environmental stewardship and conservation practices. Those lessons, he added, will pay lifelong dividends.

“These grants are about our future; they’re supporting important projects to correct the poor practices and neglect of the past,” said Governor Rendell. “These funds are restoring important parts of our environment so issues like abandoned mines or acid mine drainage-contaminated streams don’t pose a threat to the residents of our communities. By cleaning up these waters and sites, not only are we improving our environment, we’re turning these assets into opportunities that can improve the quality of life in these areas.”

Of the funding announced today, $8.13 million for 62 projects comes from Pennsylvania’s Growing Greener program. Approximately $4.17 million for 21 projects was provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Section 319 Nonpoint Source Management Program, which was created through the federal Clean Water Act to help reduce water pollution from nonpoint sources.

The remaining nearly $1.8 million was funded by a reclamation fund supported by forfeited bond proceeds from mining companies.

The combined state and federal investment is being matched by more than $6.7 million from outside sources.

These projects propose to accomplish:
• Plant more than 100 miles of riparian buffers;
• Improve nearly 30,000 linear feet of stream banks;
• Treat more than 144.5 million gallons of acid mine drainage each year before it reaches Pennsylvania’s streams and rivers;
• Improve water quality along more than 13,600 feet of streams previously contaminated by acid mine drainage;
• Reclaim at least 112 acres of abandoned mine land;
• Build or restore more than 330 acres of wetland; and
• Help 77 farms implement best-management practices so their operations have less of an impact on water quality.

In this latest grant round, there were 163 applications requesting $41.7 million. Nearly $30 million in projects were unfunded, leaving untold miles of streams in need of restoration, protection and treatment and many acres of abandoned mine lands in need of reclamation work to eliminate safety hazards.

Governor Rendell said the importance of this work and the demand for additional funding clearly underscore why it is important to continue the Growing Greener program and identify new sources of funding. He noted that the funds available through Environmental Stewardship Fund to support Growing Greener grants and other environmental improvement efforts have declined from $111 million in 2003 to $70.6 million in 2009. The fund is supported by tipping fees, but with less waste being disposed of and treated in Pennsylvania, revenues have declined.

For more information, including a list of each project receiving funding as part of today’s announcement, visit and click on “Watershed grants.”


Anonymous said...

Another waste of taxpayers money

Anonymous said...

Clean water is a waste of taxpayer money? What kind of an idiot are you??? I wish for you only filthy, polluted, killing water coming out of your tap, for you to cook with and drink and wash with. Just filthy, poisonous water. Then maybe you will realize that clean water is the most precious thing on earth.

Anonymous said...

there certainly are a lot of wasteful projects, but this is not one of them. we are talking water here, dude. can't live without it. water, national defense, and lottery tickets....are those not the the three primary responsibilities of government.

Anonymous said...

I agree that clean water is probably the most important thing in the world, but I have to wonder why dump money into cleaning water that is only going to be destroyed again by the Marcellus Shale industry.

Anonymous said...

People are so easily taken in by Rendell's self serving "press releases". He talks a good game but his results have been very disappointing. Whenever you see the name "Rendell" or "DEP", look out, they want your wallet and your freedom. So glad to see fast Eddie go...

Anonymous said...

And the water is gonna be cleaner with Corbett ?

Anonymous said...

Without WATER where do you think we all would be? Just answer that! You can cut tress - they will grown again, but without WATER what lives? Not me - not you - can't grow food. Think about it.