Pa. makes grants available for innovative water, wastewater technology projects

PA DEP offers $3.5 million in grants for projects. Grants of up to $500,000 will be available for individual projects...

HARRISBURG, PA, May 10, 2005 (PRNewswire) -- Pennsylvania Environmental Protection Secretary Kathleen A. McGinty today announced the opening of a $3.5 million grant program through Growing Greener that will help communities, municipalities, municipal authorities and public school districts finance improvements to their existing sewage facilities and drinking water systems by using innovative or new water and wastewater technology.

"This program provides the opportunity for applicants to take advantage of the latest technology available to improve Pennsylvania's water and wastewater facilities," McGinty said. "This approach not only has measurable impacts on pollution prevention, water conservation and energy reductions, but also supports economic development by opening new markets for innovation in infrastructure maintenance and environmental protection."

Grants of up to $500,000 will be available to make physical improvements to existing drinking water and sewage treatment facilities, and sanitary and combined sewer collection/conveyance systems.

Preference will be given to the following new or innovative projects: treatment of groundwater under the direct influence of surface water; holistic approaches to treatment of drinking water for nitrates and other mobile contaminants to ensure safety with respect to potential current and future risks; and advanced wastewater treatment for nutrient removal in watersheds where nutrient removal has been identified by DEP as a priority.

New or innovative technology refers to technology that is commercially available but not yet widely used in Pennsylvania. New or innovative technology should provide one or more significant advantages over conventional technology.

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 state legislature recently agreed to put before voters a $625 million bond question that supports the Governor's Growing Greener II goals. The bond question will appear on the May 17 primary ballot.

The deadline for submitting innovative water and wastewater grant applications to the DEP Grants Center is July 29.

The grant application form is available electronically on DEP's Web site at www.dep.state.pa.us/eps/. Select "Forms" and "Water Supply and Wastewater Management." The form name and number are: Application for Growing Greener Grant Assistance - New or Innovative Water/Wastewater Technology, 3800-FM-WSWM0271.

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