The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced on Dec. 30 that 22 projects to clean up waters in the state’s Northeast region have been selected to collectively receive more than $5 million in funding through DEP’s Growing Greener program.
● In Pike, Wayne, Lackawanna, Monroe counties, $500,000 went to the Lake Wallenpaupack Watershed Management District for its Environmentally Sensitive Dirt, Gravel, and Low Volume Road Maintenance Program for Community Associations program.
● In Wayne, Pike, Lackawanna, and Monroe counties, $242,000 went to the Wayne Conservation District for its Northeast Region Nutrient Management Plan Reimbursement Program.
● In Monroe County, $10,478 went to the Brodhead Watershed Association for its Determination of Cause and Significance of Elevated in Forest Hills Run and Yankee Run; and $911,400 to the Monroe County Conservation District for its Sand Spring Stream Bank Restoration Project.
“Growing Greener awardees help keep Pennsylvania clean,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “It is imperative that communities in Pennsylvania receive the necessary funding to reduce pollutants in area waterways.”
Largest environmental investment
Statewide, more than $34 million has been awarded to fund 149 projects to clean up waters. Grantees have up to three years to implement their projects from the award date.
Growing Greener is the largest single investment of state funds in Pennsylvania’s history to address Pennsylvania’s critical environmental concerns of the 21st century.
Growing Greener has helped to slash the backlog of farmland-preservation projects statewide, protect open space, eliminate the maintenance backlog in state parks, clean up abandoned mines and restore watersheds, provide funds for recreational trails and local parks, help communities address land use, and provide new and upgraded water and sewer systems.
DEP is authorized to allocate these funds in grants for watershed restoration and protection, abandoned mine reclamation, and abandoned oil and gas well plugging projects.
Three other agencies also received funds to distribute for appropriate projects: the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to administer farmland preservation projects, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for state park renovations and improvements, and the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority for water and sewer system upgrades.
Two Growing Greener project awardees in the Northeast region include a project at Harveys Lake to eradicate invasive Hydrilla and monitor harmful algae blooms, and a project benefiting Luzerne County to address nutrient and sediment load reductions in water bodies on agricultural operations.