For Immediate Release: November 26, 2013
Pennsylvania Growing Greener Coalition Celebrates Approval of Marcellus Legacy Fund Grants for Recreation and Critical Land and Water Conservation Projects
(HARRISBURG, PA) The Pennsylvania Growing Greener Coalition, the largest coalition of conservation, recreation and preservation organizations in the Commonwealth, today celebrated the approval of more than $28 million in Marcellus Legacy Fund grants to support recreation and critical land and water protection efforts throughout the state.
“These grants will have a lasting impact on the Commonwealth by supporting vital projects that will protect watersheds, preserve open space, mitigate flooding, build and improve recreational trails and treat contaminated water at former mining sites, said Andrew Heath, executive director of the Pennsylvania Growing Greener Coalition.
Impact fees on natural gas drilling have generated more than $400 million to date. Forty percent of the fees collected is allocated to the Marcellus Shale Legacy Fund and a portion of that is distributed in the form of grants from the Commonwealth Financing Authority [CFA] to support statewide conservation and recreation efforts. This initial round of grants distributed more than $28 million in grants.
The Pennsylvania Growing Greener Coalition was instrumental in ensuring that funds collected through the Marcellus Legacy Fund be made available for statewide conservation and recreation projects.
A breakdown of the grants distributed by the CFA is as follows:
- $5.6 million to restore streams impaired by polluted runoff in 18 counties.
- $16 million to support 116 greenway, trail and recreation projects throughout the state.
- $5.2 million to support 12 abandoned mine drainage abatement and treatment projects statewide.
- $700,000 to support flood mitigation projects in Blair, Bucks, Lackawanna and Northumberland counties.
- $225,000 to plug orphaned and abandoned wells in Allegheny and Washington counties.
“The Marcellus Legacy Fund was created to help support important environmental protection efforts statewide and in local communities, and we’re glad to see that its impact is starting to be felt,” Heath said. “This first round of grant awards will go a long way to improving environmental outcomes and upholding Pennsylvania’s status as a great place to live and work.”