Penn. DEP announces nearly $500,000 in Source Water Protection grants

Rendell Administration awards include $200,000 grant to Stroudsburg Municipal Authority...

EAST STROUDSBURG, PA, May 3, 2005 (PRNewswire) -- Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Kathleen A. McGinty awarded $489,000 in grants to help communities statewide develop source water protection programs and encouraged residents to make their voices heard on a $625 million ballot initiative designed to provide additional funding to clean up rivers and streams across the Commonwealth.

"Pennsylvania's water resources are constantly vulnerable to threats to water quality and quantity," McGinty said. "Making sure our public water supplies are safe starts at the source. These grants allow local municipalities and communities to protect public health and infrastructure by avoiding costly contamination that puts this precious resource at risk."

She announced the grants while awarding $200,000 to the Stroudsburg Municipal Authority for development of a comprehensive Source Water Protection Program. The program aims to protect surface-water intake and wells used to supply drinking water to several local municipalities in the Broadhead Creek Watershed.

Specifically, the grant will be used to delineate the wellhead protection area, focus on outreach, create an early warning monitoring system and identify land parcels for eventual conservation easements or transfer of development rights.

Source Water Protection Programs are locally designed and voluntary efforts to protect drinking water sources used by public water systems. They usually take one of two forms-watershed protection for surface water sources or wellhead protection for groundwater sources-or may involve both.

In addition to public health and economic benefits associated with preventing costly contamination of public drinking water sources, an effective Source Water Protection Program can enhance emergency response, complement pollution prevention and promote or improve sound land-use planning.

For the full list of grants, click here. These grants are funded by the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund set-aside and awarded to municipalities or community water systems to develop the programs.

Pennsylvania residents will also have the opportunity to ensure continued improvement of water quality through the upcoming environmental bond referendum May 17. The Governor's Growing Greener II initiative promotes creative and innovative projects that improve watersheds while providing significant funding to improve water quality and clean up Pennsylvania's rivers and streams.

The General Assembly recently joined the Governor by agreeing to put before voters a $625 million bond question that supports this effort. The bond question will appear on the May 17 primary election ballot.

For more information on Source Water Protection Grants, visit DEP's Web site at www.dep.state.pa.us, Keyword: "Source Water."

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