For Immediate Release: June 21, 2013
Growing Greener Coalition Encourages Submission of Applications for Newly Announced Grant Funding
(HARRISBURG, PA) Pennsylvania’s Growing Greener Coalition encouraged eligible applicants today to apply for $23 million in grant funding that the Corbett Administration and the Department of Environmental Protection announced would be made available for environmental protection efforts.
“The Growing Greener Coalition applauds the Commonwealth for recognizing the critical need to protect Pennsylvania’s water and land resources and natural environment,” said Andrew Heath, executive director of the Pennsylvania Growing Greener Coalition. “These funds will be put to good use restoring watersheds and removing hazardous materials from ground soil, ensuring clean, safe drinking water and an improved quality of life for Commonwealth residents.”
The funds will be made available through the Department of Environmental Protection to be distributed to local agencies through a competitive grant process. According to the Administration, funds will support watershed restoration, acid mine drainage and water quality improvement projects throughout the state.
For more information about the grants, and to download a copy of the application, visit the Department of Environmental Protection’s website (www.dep.state.pa.us) and select “Growing Greener.” The grant application period will run through August 16th.
Support for the program will come from a combination of Act 13 impact fee revenues, Growing Greener Environmental Stewardship Funds and Growing Greener II bonds.
Growing Greener Environmental Stewardship Fund (ESF) receives its revenue through a 1999 increase in the state’s tipping fee, along with revenue transfers from the Oil & Gas Lease Fund made possible through the enactment of Act 13.
The Coalition was instrumental in ensuring that the state dedicated a portion of the impact fees from natural gas drilling to conservation, recreation and preservation projects. This dedicated revenue is now being distributed across the Commonwealth via the Growing Greener Environmental Stewardship Fund, the Commonwealth Financing Authority and the County Conservation and Recreation Initiative all established under Act 13.
According to a recent survey from the Center for Survey Research at Penn State Harrisburg, 92 percent of Pennsylvanians surveyed think that state funds dedicated to preserving farmland and open space, providing parks and trails and protecting rivers and streams should continue to be used for these purposes.
The Penn State Harrisburg survey also found that nearly 78 percent of respondents support increasing state funds to conserve and protect open space, clean water, natural areas, wildlife habitats, parks, historic sites, forests and farms even if that would cost the average household $10 more annually. These high levels of support are consistent across every geographic region, gender, ethnic, educational and economic demographic throughout the state.