– The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced today that 12 projects in the state’s southwest region were awarded a total of $2,998,875 though DEP’s Growing Greener Plus grant program
, which restores impaired waters and protects waterways from nonpoint source pollution. Statewide, this year’s awards exceed $20 million.
Representatives from DEP’s Southwest Regional Office, Loyalhanna Watershed Association, and stakeholders visited sites along Mill Creek and Fourmile Run in Cook and Ligonier townships, Westmoreland County. This visit highlights how DEP partnerships and a watershed-based planning approach not only improve water quality and aquatic habitats, but also benefit the economy through waterway recreation and tourism.
“When you’re out here and can see the streambank erosion and sediment in the channel, the need is clear,” said DEP Southwest Regional Director Jim Miller. “We’re thrilled to highlight Loyalhanna Watershed Association’s approach to watershed restoration and support each of the fantastic projects funded this round.”
Growing Greener is the largest single investment of state funds in Pennsylvania's history to address critical environmental concerns. Entities eligible for Growing Greener grants can be watershed groups, local or county government, municipal authorities, county planning commissions, county conservation districts, council of governments, educational institutions, or non-profit organizations. Grantees have up to three years to implement their projects. Governor Wolf has proposed additional funding for new Growing Greener projects using existing funds available under the American Rescue Plan Act.
“Ninety-six percent of impaired watersheds in Pennsylvania are polluted because of nonpoint source pollution,” added Miller. “The problem comes from many different sources, but we need a collaborative approach along with state funding to make a lasting impact.”
Some of the primary activities that generate nonpoint source pollution include, abandoned mine drainage (AMD), urban and agricultural runoff, earthmoving, and stream hydromodification. The purpose of Growing Greener, Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) bond forfeiture, and AMD set-aside grants is to address nonpoint source pollution through local, watershed-based planning, restoration and protection efforts.
The full list of approved Growing Greener Plus projects in southwestern Pennsylvania include:
• Borough of Castle Shannon: Total Daily Maximum Load (TMDL) Plan Implementation, $108,000
• Allegheny County Conservation District: Findlay Township Activity Center Stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs), $150,417
• North Fayette Township: Pollutant Reduction Plan Implementation, $70,125
• South Fayette Conservation Group: Fishing Run Diversion, $90,000
• South Fayette Conservation Group: Gladden AMD Treatment Plant – Operation and Maintenance, $836,815
• Cambria County Conservation District: Cambria County Chesapeake Bay Watershed Sediment and Nutrient Reduction Program in Cresson and White townships and Hastings and Northern Cambria boroughs, $580,916
• Western Pennsylvania Conservancy: Back Creek Stream Restoration Project in Saltlick Township, $30,891
• Western Pennsylvania Conservancy: Spruell Pipe 2 and Acid Seep Remediation Project in Stewart Township, $368,539
• Greene County Conservation District: Willis Farm Stream Stabilization and Fencing in Cumberland Township, $111,578
• North Franklin Township: Streambank Restoration – Construction Phase, $262,500
• Washington County Watershed Alliance – Ten Mile Creek Restoration Project in Morris Township, $156,094
• Loyalhanna Watershed Association, Mill Creek and Fourmile Run Stream Improvement Project in Cook and Ligonier townships, $233,000
MEDIA CONTACT: Lauren Fraley, firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-442-4203