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Pennsylvania Ag News Headlines
State Grants Available to Farmers and Small Businesses
Pennsylvania Ag Connection - 08/09/2018

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced $1 million of grant funding is available to Pennsylvania farmers and small business for pollution prevention, energy efficiency and natural resource protection projects through the Small Business Advantage grants. For the first time, grants will be available to farmers and ranchers for projects that reduce and prevent pollution on working lands.

"In keeping with the pollution prevention goals of the program, new opportunities for small business owners in the agricultural sector to implement natural resource protection projects are available for the first time", said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. "These projects are designed to strengthen our commitment to protect the Commonwealth's soil and water resources."

Natural resource protection projects include the opportunity to plant riparian buffers, install streambank fencing to keep livestock out of streams, and agricultural storm water management projects, with the goal of reducing sediment and nutrient loads in our waterways.

Eligible projects are those that adopt or acquire equipment or processes that reduce energy use or pollution. Examples of eligible projects are HVAC and boiler upgrades, high-efficiency lighting, solvent recover and waste recycling systems, and auxiliary power units deployed as anti-idling technology for trucks. Last year, 150 small businesses were awarded more than $953,000 in grants for their projects.

"Pennsylvania's Small Business Advantage Grants provide funding for projects which cut operating costs and boost competitiveness, while simultaneously protecting the environment," said Secretary McDonnell. "We are committed to assisting those small business owners who want to become energy efficient, increase their profitability, and help the environment."

Pennsylvania-based small business owners with 100 or fewer full-time employees are eligible. Projects must save the business a minimum of $500 and 25 percent annually in energy consumption, or pollution related expenses.

Businesses can apply for 50 percent matching funds of up to $9,500 to adopt or acquire energy-efficient or pollution prevention equipment or processes. Only costs incurred between July 20, 2018 and June 30, 2019 are eligible.

Applications will be considered on a first come, first served basis, and will be accepted until fiscal year 2018-19 funds are exhausted, or April 12, 2019, whichever occurs first.

All applications must be submitted through the Commonwealth's Single Application for Assistance website. Printed, faxed, and mailed applications are not accepted.

The complete Grant Application package, which includes step-by-step instructions for completing the on-line application as well as all related forms, is available by visiting the DEP Small Business Ombudsman's Office website.

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