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Friday, February 3, 2012

DEP Awards 73 Grants to Protect, Improve Watersheds in 36 Counties

DEP Awards 73 Grants to Protect, Improve Watersheds in 36 Counties

HARRISBURG -- The Department of Environmental Protection announced today that it will invest in 73 watershed protection projects intended to improve watersheds, stormwater runoff, acid mine drainage and educational programs, among other environmental efforts.

This year, the Growing Greener program, which is funded by the Environmental Stewardship Fund, will award $9.72 million for 57 projects around the state. An additional project, funded by the Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Grant, will cost $72,912. 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, is funding 15 additional projects, which would total $3.12 million.

“We are delighted to provide support to local communities and watershed groups to fund projects that enhance and protect Pennsylvania’s water quality,” DEP Secretary Mike Krancer said. “That includes projects that address abandoned mine drainage, stream bank restoration, stormwater reductions and agricultural runoff.”

These projects will reduce nonpoint source pollution in watersheds where streams are impaired by implementing agricultural and stormwater best-management practices; developing, repairing or installing passive systems to treat abandoned mine drainage; and supporting the establishment of riparian buffers, among other goals.

One of the Growing Greener program’s goals is to invest in projects that protect watersheds from impairment due to nonpoint source pollution or those that will restore damaged waterways. Some examples of priority areas are restoration activities to reduce pollutant load in impaired watersheds for which total maximum daily loads have been developed; projects in priority watersheds that would reduce the source of impairment; and priority activities that lead to water quality restoration and protection.

In this latest grant round, 130 applicants request about $24.5 million. Applications came from counties, authorities and other municipalities; county conservation districts; councils of governments; watershed organizations that promote local watershed conservation efforts; and other authorized organizations involved in restoring and protecting the environment.

For more information on Growing Greener or to see the complete list of grant recipients, email GrowingGreener@pa.gov, call 717-705-4500 or visit DEP’s website at www.dep.state.pa.us, keyword: Growing Greener.

Some of the area grants are:
Centre
Penn State University, Halfmoon Creek, $35,491; Centre County Conservation District, Little Fishing Creek, $312,432

Clearfield
Clearfield County Conservation District, Deer Creek, $30,752; Lawrence Township, Passive Treatment System, $69,836; Pike Township, Bilger’s Run, $41,000

Clinton
Lobb Narco Passive Treatment System, $72,912

Elk
Elk County Freshwater Association, Big Mill Creek, $26,200

Erie
Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, Walnut Creek, $82,250; Environment Erie, Walnut Creek, $38,500; Girard Township, Culbertson Drive Stormwater, $195,840; Penn State Behrend, Behrend Stormwater, $36,495

Montour
Montour County Conservation District, Chillisquaque Creek Watershed, $287,750

Northumberland
Northumberland County Conservation District, Little Shamokin Creek, $195,153; Borough of Northumberland, Lake Augusta, $257,579

Tioga
Babb Creek Watershed Association, Hunters Drift, $210,008; Tioga County Commissioners, Marsh Creek, $386,550

Union
Union County Conservation District, Limestone Run, $26,270; Union County Conservation District, Buffalo Creek, $106,159

Multi-County Projects
The remaining projects, listed alphabetically, are multi-county efforts:

Nature Abounds, Pennsylvania Senior Environmental Corps., $169,977; North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission, North Central Greenways Implementation Grant Program, DEP’s North-central region, $150,000; North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission, North Central Greenways Implementation Grant Program, DEP’s Northwest Region, $150,000; Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy, Ag Impaired Stream Restoration, $366,180; PALMS, Lake Best Management Practices Projects, $283,000; Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, TreeVitalize, Phase VIII, $200,000; Trout Unlimited Inc., Utilizing Mine Drainage Residuals to Control Phosphorus in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, $184,178; Trout Unlimited, Inc., AMD Technical Assistance Program, $159,500; Trust for Tomorrow, Northwest Ohio River Watershed Initiative, $100,000; and Western Pennsylvania Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation, Quick Response VI, $130,000.

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