11/20/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/20/2020 12:10
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
Dept. of Environmental Protection
Commonwealth News Bureau
Room 308, Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg PA., 17120
Deb Klenotic, DEP
Harrisburg, PA - The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced it's providing just over $6 million in grant funding to eight counties to continue support for their accelerated progress in improving local water quality in Pennsylvania's share of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
Adams, Bedford, Centre, Cumberland, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon, and York counties will receive 2020 Environmental Stewardship Fund grants to build local engagement in best-practice projects to reduce nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment pollution in local streams and rivers.
'Teams in these counties are forging through the challenges of the pandemic to make unprecedented progress in increasing communities' awareness that we can't allow nutrient and sediment runoff pollution to continue to degrade our waters without significant long-term impacts,' said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell.
'They're reaching out and enlisting local farmers, municipalities, businesses, community organizations, colleges, and other partners to develop strategies and determine project sites and types that will benefit the landowner and community as well as water quality. They're using local data and water quality monitoring to maximize their impact and track their progress on specific pollution reduction goals. They're brainstorming all options for much needed funding support. DEP is committed to providing as much support as it can to sustain these teams and the strong momentum they've developed.'
Adams, Franklin, Lancaster, and York counties completed Countywide Action Plans in 2019 and this year began to enlist partners, source funding, and break ground on projects.
Bedford, Centre, Cumberland, and Lebanon counties submitted draft plans to DEP in October. After their plans are finalized in December, they'll begin getting projects underway.
The counties may begin using these DEP grants in January 2021 to accelerate implementation of the priority initiatives specified in their Countywide Action Plans. They'll receive funding as follows for full-time plan coordinators and a range of projects that represent scientific best practices to reduce nutrient and sediment pollution:
All or part of 43 Pennsylvania counties are in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. DEP has asked 34 to develop and carry out Countywide Action Plans to reduce their portion of nutrient and sediment pollution in the watershed. In addition to the eight counties that have completed final or draft plans, the remaining 26 counties have voluntarily signed on to complete plans.
MEDIA CONTACT: Deb Klenotic, 717-783-9954