For Immediate Release: January 31, 2018
Contacts: Andrew Heath, Growing Greener Coalition, (717) 824-2281
COALITION APPLAUDS SENATE’S PASSAGE OF GROWING GREENER III
(HARRISBURG, PA) The Pennsylvania Growing Greener Coalition, the largest coalition of conservation, recreation and preservation organizations in the Commonwealth, today expressed its appreciation to the Pennsylvania Senate for passing the Growing Greener III framework legislation originally introduced by Senator Tom Killion (R-Delaware) by an overwhelming vote of 47 to 2.
“Today is a great day for the Growing Greener program, the communities and non-profits which it supports, and Pennsylvania as a whole,” said Andrew Heath, executive director of the Pennsylvania Growing Greener Coalition. “The Coalition applauds Senator Tom Killion for offering an amendment to Senate Bill 799 that included the Growing Greener III framework language. This represents a positive step in achieving a viable Growing Greener III program, and we are encouraged that the Senate understands how important the Growing Greener III program is in tackling the ever-increasing unmet needs facing communities throughout the state.”
Established in 1999, the state’s Growing Greener program has funded hundreds of local parks and trail projects, conserved more than 80,000 acres of threatened open space, and restored hundreds of miles of streams and waterways. The program has also protected more than 78,000 acres of farmland, restored more than 1,600 acres of abandoned mine land, and helped reduce flooding and water pollution through 400 watershed protection projects and more than 100 drinking and wastewater treatment improvements.
The Growing Greener III framework legislation enhances the state’s current Growing Greener program by adding agencies and additional programs to the already existing authorizations to better address the present-day needs facing the Commonwealth.
The framework legislation also reflects the urgent need to address water quality issues in the Chesapeake Bay by requiring certain state agencies to allocate a percentage of its Growing Greener Environmental Stewardship Funds for projects in Susquehanna River watershed. Once fully-funded, the Growing Greener III program will be the largest investment ever made by the Commonwealth to meet its commitment to improving the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay.
The Coalition has identified more than $300+ million in annual needs to ensure Pennsylvanians continue to have access to clean water, locally grown food, and parks, trails and other recreational opportunities.
“We acknowledge that this is a process, and the Coalition is committed to working with the General Assembly and the Governor to ensure that additional funding needed for the program can be achieved this year,” said Heath.
The legislation now moves to the House.