Scarnati said these grants are made available through the Growing Greener Program, which is funded by the Pennsylvania Environmental Stewardship Fund. Across the commonwealth, Growing Greener has awarded over $13.2 million to fund 78 water protection projects through this round of funding.
Grants were awarded to reduce causes of nonpoint source pollution, reclaim abandoned mine lands and restore aquatic life to streams that were polluted as a result of acid mine drainage.
“The Growing Greener funds provided for these projects will play a significant role in helping local groups to complete important plans to clean up mine drainage, improve agricultural practices and restore wetlands and to improve stormwater systems,” Scarnati said. “Each of these projects not only protects our environment but also contributes to economic development and helps to create local jobs.”
The grants are being provided to non-profit organizations, watershed groups and county and municipal governments to address local and regional water quality issues. Conservation districts were targeted for a large portion of the funding, and will be responsible for three of the six projects in the 25th Senatorial District.
“These are worthwhile projects that will improve the quality of life for area residents,” Scarnati said. “Investing in our natural resources and protecting the waters across Pennsylvania is a vital investment in our future.”
The following projects in the 25th Senatorial District received funding:
Bucktail Watershed Association - $14,485 to treat and control Japanese Knotweed on 6-7 miles of Sinnemahoning Creek. This project continues previous control work that has been done in the headwaters.
McKean County Conservation District - $280,155 to continue implementation of agricultural best management practices within two agriculturally-impaired tributaries to the Allegheny River. Two operations will have BMPs installed on the Lillibridge Creek and Rock Run Watersheds in McKean County.
Potter County Conservation District - $99,000 to stabilize streambanks by installing in-stream structures, bankgrading and riparian planting at 9 locations on the East Fork of the Sinnemahoning Creek and the Pine Creek watersheds.
Tioga County Conservation District – $166,350 to design and implement dirt and gravel road improvements on two roads totaling 2.1 miles in this sediment impaired watershed.
Babb Creek Watershed Association, Inc. - $163,007 to construct the second phase of a passive treatment system to treat mine discharges impacting Rock Run. Upon completion of the second phase water quality will be restored to 2,100 ft. of Smallpox Creek and its tributary and 2.1 miles of Rock Run.
Headwaters Charitable Trust - $250,000 to construct an aerobic limestone basin and a vertical flow wetland alkalinity addition treatment system in the Smith Run Watershed in McKean County. The watershed is degraded from seasonal and episodic acid precipitation impacts, and benefits will be realized not only in Smith Run but East Branch Lake.