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Pennsylvania Ag News Headlines
DEP Sends Nearly $3 Million to Southwest Region Water Cleanup Projects
Pennsylvania Ag Connection - 01/11/2021

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced that 20 projects to clean up waters in the state's Southwest region have been selected to collectively receive more than $2.7 million in funding through DEP's Growing Greener Plus program. The Southwest region also received funding for several Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) Set Aside projects and a Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act Bond Forfeiture (SMCRA) 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."

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 state 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.

Growing Greener projects in the Southwest region include a project by the Beaver County Conservation District to implement several natural stream design structures to stabilize a section of streambank on Raccoon Creek in Hanover Township. This phase two project is crucial to prevent erosion that is still occurring after the implementation of phase one by Allegheny County Conservation District. Another project in the region is the North Branch Blacklick Creek Stream Improvement Project - Phase II by the Cambria County Conservation District - that will stabilize 480 feet of streambank and install fish enhancement structures to reduce sediment pollution and improve fish and other aquatic resources in the North Branch Blacklick Creek.

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