Pa. DEP accepting applications for watershed, flood protection grants

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• Deadline to apply is July 17, 2009

HARRISBURG, PA, May 19, 2009 -- Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger announced that the Pennsylvania DEP is now accepting grant applications for watershed protection and restoration and flood protection projects under the Growing Greener Plus program, which allows applicants to seek funding for a variety of projects through a single application process.

"The Growing Greener program has profoundly improved the health of our waterways, funding hundreds of projects that enhance and protect water quality and providing needed financial support to local community and watershed groups so this vital work can continue," said Hanger. "This year we have taken steps to further simplify and streamline the application process, reducing the size of the application package and using Web links for relevant information."

In this round of grants, DEP will invest in projects that protect watersheds from impairment due to nonpoint source pollution or that will restore damaged waterways. Examples of special priority areas include: watershed renaissance projects -- comprehensive watershed plan implementation in a small watershed; projects located in "priority" watersheds to reduce the source of impairment; and "priority" activities that lead to water quality restoration or protection.

Examples of eligible projects include reducing nonpoint source pollution in watersheds where streams are impaired; integrating stormwater management and flood protection into watershed management; encouraging the use of abandoned mine pool water; and water conservation strategies and projects that will help reduce Total Maximum Daily Load pollutants.

Through the same process, applicants can also apply for funding through the department's flood protection grant program and Section 319 nonpoint source grant flood protection grants for communities that operate and maintain state and federal flood protection projects. Section 319 grants focus on funding similar projects to Growing Greener but with special emphasis within targeted watersheds.

Eligible applicants include counties, authorities and other municipalities; county conservation districts; councils of governments; watershed organizations recognized by the department that promote local watershed conservation efforts; and other authorized organizations involved in the restoration and protection of the environment in Pennsylvania.

Applications must be postmarked no later than July 17. If hand delivered, application packages must be received by the DEP Grants Center by 4 p.m. on that date. Late submissions will not be considered.

For more information on Growing Greener, or to receive an application package, email GrowingGreener@state.pa.us, phone (717) 705-5400 or visit DEP's Web site [keyword: Growing Greener].

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