HARRISBURG, Pa., May 13, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Tom Corbett announced today that the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is now accepting applications for the Growing Greener Grant Program for watershed protection and abandoned mine drainage projects, the agency announced today. Local governments, non-profits, schools, municipal authorities and watershed associations are eligible to apply.
"Each year, these grants are offered to deserving environmental stewards across Pennsylvania," Corbett said. "The infusion of Act 13 dollars has given this program a deserved boost, so that more positive environmental projects can take shape."
Act 13 impact fee revenues are expected to provide more than $7.8 million into the Environmental Stewardship Fund to support the Growing Greener program. Growing Greener is also funded by a series of bond issues and a fee on waste entering landfills. The infusion of impact fee revenues restores funding levels to where they stood before the fund was obligated to pay debt service on the bond issues.
A total of $16 million is available through the Pennsylvania Growing Greener program for projects to improve water quality in impaired waterways or to protect water quality where the watershed may be threatened by non-point sources, such as agricultural or urban runoff or acid mine drainage. Approved projects for this section of the grant solicitation must be completed by Dec. 31, 2018.
The state works with watershed associations and the federal government to list certain priority watersheds in need of restoration, identified through the development of an approved Section 319 Nonpoint Source Watershed Implementation Plan. The federal Water Pollution Control Act will provide $3 million for projects to support restoration of 35 such watersheds across the state. Projects for this section of the grant solicitation must be completed by Sept. 30, 2018.
As part of its innovative and award-winning program to restore abandoned mine sites, DEP also announced $2 million in federal Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act funding for abandoned mine drainage projects. The federal program is funded by a fee on the active mining industry. The state is also accepting applications for projects to reclaim mine sites that have forfeited reclamation bonds.
A formal notice announcing the grant solicitation, which runs through July 11, appears in this week's Pennsylvania Bulletin. Applications must be postmarked no later than July 11 and mailed to the DEP Grant Center at P.O. Box 8776, Harrisburg, PA 17105. If hand delivered, the package must be received by the Center by 4 p.m. on July 11. Late submissions will not be considered.
For more information and to download a grant application, visit www.dep.state.pa.us and click the "Growing Greener" button or enter keyword: Growing Greener.
Valerie Caras, Governor's Office, 717-783-1116
Amanda Witman, DEP, 717-787-1323
SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor