Governor Rendell Announces Nearly $1 Million to Protect Communities by Improving Flood Protection Projects

Jan 12, 2010, 13:41 ET from Pennsylvania Office of the Governor

HARRISBURG, Pa., Jan. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As part of continuing efforts to improve Pennsylvania's infrastructure and safeguard communities, Governor Edward G. Rendell announced today that the commonwealth is investing nearly $1 million in 35 flood protection projects in 16 counties.

"Building and maintaining flood protection projects that protect lives and property requires a significant investment of time and money on the part of local governments and taxpayers," Governor Rendell said. "Pennsylvania's Flood Protection Grant Program provides needed funding to help keep these structures in good working order so that homeowners have peace of mind and businesses have the confidence to invest in their communities."

The 35 flood protection grants announced today total $995,768 for project improvements, specialized equipment and non-routine maintenance.

The grants are awarded annually to municipal and county sponsors of existing flood protection projects, and cover up to 65 percent of the costs for project improvements and non-routine maintenance, as well as a maximum of 50 percent of the cost for specialized equipment to maintain these projects in a state of readiness.

The maximum grant award for project improvements and non-routine maintenance is $65,000, and the maximum for specialized equipment grants is $50,000.

Local municipal and county sponsors are responsible for the long-term operation and routine maintenance of flood protection projects once construction of a federally funded or state-funded project is completed.

Grants are awarded based upon anticipated benefits of the project, such as extending the infrastructure's life, improving function, or improving emergency response.

Pennsylvania has one of the most extensive flood protection programs in the nation. Since 1946, the commonwealth has constructed more than 200 flood protection projects throughout the state at a cost of more than $800 million when calculated in today's dollars.

The Department of Environmental Protection oversees Pennsylvania's flood protection program and investigates flooding problems to determine the feasibility of various solutions ranging from upstream stormwater control to construction of significant flood control structures. Flood control projects can include stormwater detention facilities, concrete channels and floodwalls, earthen levees, stream channel improvements, or a combination of these projects. 

The department conducts yearly inspections and provides technical assistance to local municipal sponsors. The commonwealth assists local municipalities with design work, cost sharing on federally built projects, new project construction, as well as with rehabilitation work and improvements to existing projects.

In addition to the Flood Protection Grants Program, DEP prepares and publishes technical manuals to operate flood control projects and conducts annual flood protection workshops for municipal flood control project sponsors. These workshops give local municipal officials the opportunity to learn about new maintenance methods, share experiences, and stay informed of new regulations and technological advances.

For more information, visit

Media contacts:

Tom Rathbun, DEP; 717-787-1323

Michael Smith, Governor's Office; 717-783-1116

Editor's Note: The following is a list, by county, of flood protection grants announced today:

Allegheny County

Allegheny County Department of Public Works -- $65,000 for removal of sediment from Turtle Creek flood control project

Chartiers Valley District Flood Control Authority – $11,250 to purchase combination sprayer/tank units, backpack sprayers, and hand sprayers for vegetation control

Millvale Borough -- $30,000 to purchase equipment for sediment removal

Millvale Borough -- $3,000 to purchase confined space equipment

Armstrong County

Kittanning Borough -- $30,847 to replace 11 sections of floodwall, repair 18 sections of floodwall, and clear vegetation  

Cambria County

Johnstown Redevelopment Authority -- $49,203 to purchase tractor equipped with boom and brush mower for project vegetation control

Johnstown Redevelopment Authority -- $9,750 for non-routine debris basin and trash rack maintenance projects

Johnstown Redevelopment Authority -- $9,008 to purchase confined space entry equipment

Wilmore Borough -- $7,475 to remove stream sediment and debris, and fill to large scour areas

Cameron County

Emporium Borough -- $54,484 to perform an updated survey; riprap upgrade; add three new entrance gates; re-seal cracks in the concrete channel; re-seed, fertilize and cover the mowed area; provide specialized training; and purchase equipment

Emporium Borough -- $50,000 to purchase dump truck for sediment removal

Huntingdon County

Smithfield Township -- $21,450 to install concrete low-flow stormwater channels at the Mt. Vernon stormwater pump station site

Jefferson County

Brockway Borough -- $21,960 for Toby Creek bank stabilization and replace approximately 900 tons of riprap

Lackawanna County

Mayfield Borough$39,000 to spray Japanese Knotweed, cut natural growth along the Mayfield levee system, and dredge areas of sediment build-up within the Lackawanna River

Olyphant Borough -- $65,000 to construct a pump station at Jackson Street

Olyphant Borough -- $65,000 to construct a pump station at Lafayette and Ash streets

City of Scranton -- $25,800 to purchase levee maintenance equipment, including a truck, brush mower, riding mower and skid-mounted sprayer

Luzerne County

Luzerne County Flood Protection Authority -- $43,221 to purchase a bucket truck for electrical system maintenance and lights on the Wyoming Valley levee system

Luzerne County Flood Protection Authority -- $10,010 to purchase a slope mower

City of Wilkes-Barre -- $1,850 to purchase turf skid sprayer with 100-gallon tank for the Mill Creek flood protection project

Lycoming County

South Williamsport Borough -- $40,362 to replace existing sluice gates

McKean County

Bradford District Flood Control Authority -- $31,054 for Tunungawant Channel restoration and protection project

Montour County

Danville Borough -- $65,000 for levee tree removal project

Danville Borough -- $3,874 to remove burrowing animals from the levee and fill holes with grout

Danville Borough -- $2,210 to replace suction hose and pipe in Faust Street Pumping Station

Danville Borough -- $1,755 to repair and re-seed ruts on the levee

Potter County

Galeton Borough -- $16,584 to purchase commercial mower for levee maintenance

Potter County Commissioners -- $23,306 to purchase prefab shed, mower, trailer, plow and boat for maintenance and inspections of the North Fork Dam

Somerset County

Somerset Borough -- $32,500 to remove sediment, cut vegetation, and install riprap on Coxes Creek

Tioga County

Lawrence Borough -- $34,876 to purchase tractor and boom mower for levee maintenance

Wayne County

Texas Township$2,180 to purchase two chain saws, two brush saws, and a skid sprayer for the White Mills flood protection project

Westmoreland County

City of Jeannette -- $65,000 to complete maintenance along concrete flood channel

City of Jeannette -- $30,591 to purchase water rescue equipment

City of Jeannette -- $27,223 to purchase generator for the emergency operations center

City of Jeannette -- $5,941 to spray and cut vegetation at the Bull Run Dam and the Brush Creek Levee

CONTACT:  Tom Rathbun, DEP, +1-717-787-1323, or Michael Smith, Governor's Office, +1-717-783-1116

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor