The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection awarded $4.9 million in Section 319 Nonprofit Source Management Grants to 23 projects that will help communities and the environment around the state by restoring impaired watersheds. About $3 million in 2021 funding is available for further project grant applications.
The Bucks County Conservation District received $790,914 to implement a regional wetland stormwater BMP in Middletown Township to significantly reduce nutrient and sediment pollutant levels in the Core Creek/Lake Luxembourg watershed.
Statewide, the Eastern and Western Coalitions for Abandoned Mine Reclamation each received $390,000 to support the reclamation of abandoned mine sites that have a significant impact on water quality, along with developing local support for AMD remediation efforts.
“The Section 319 program tackles the broad challenge of nonpoint source pollution watershed by watershed, supporting partnerships and projects that adhere to data-grounded plans identifying which best practices will reduce the most pollution where, and monitoring outcomes to ensure success,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell.
About 95 percent of water quality impaired watersheds in Pennsylvania are polluted by nonpoint source pollution – water pollution that doesn’t come from a single specific discharge point, such as a pipe. Section 319 grants focus on reducing:
– Nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment pollution associated with agricultural activities, urban stormwater, and streambank and shoreline erosion
– Iron, aluminum, and acidity pollution associated with energy resource extraction and acid mine drainage (AMD)
The grant program supports projects that carry out best management practices (BMPs) specified in Watershed Implementation Plans that have been developed for 36 watersheds around the state, with special consideration given to projects in Pennsylvania’s share of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. It also supports development of Watershed Implementation Plans for other impaired watersheds.
DEP is accepting applications for 2021 funding until 5 p.m., on Oct. 23. Incorporated watershed associations, counties, municipalities, municipal authorities, county conservation districts, councils of government, K-12 schools, colleges and universities, and nonprofit organizations may apply.
Applicants can find the guidelines booklet, the link to the online grant application portal, and more information here.