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DEPARTMENT OF
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

Growing Greener Plus Grant Programs

[48 Pa.B. 2893]
[Saturday, May 12, 2018]

 The Department of Environmental Protection (Department) announces the availability of grant funding in the nineteenth year of the Commonwealth's Growing Greener Plus Grant Program (Growing Greener). Growing Greener Plus refers to four grant programs: Growing Greener; 319 Nonpoint Source (NPS); Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act Bond Forfeiture; and Abandoned Mine Drainage (AMD) Set Aside grants.

 The Growing Greener Program will be providing an increased emphasis on supporting project implementation within the Chesapeake Bay (Bay) Watershed. Project support within the Bay will focus on: activities that address NPS pollution loadings coming from agriculture, stream channel degradation, AMD and urban runoff; projects that directly address sources of impairment specific to the receiving waterbody of the project; and projects implementing any of the following Best Management Practices—riparian forest buffers, streambank stabilization, wetland creation/restoration/enhancement, animal heavy use area protection and other related practices. In addition to projects addressing an individual site, the Department will accept projects funding regional or Statewide initiatives to enhance local watershed restoration and protection. Additional considerations will be given for all Growing Greener applications that are proposing: projects that address the Commonwealth Investment Criteria that increase job opportunities and foster sustainable businesses; projects in designated environmental justice communities and projects in approved Act 47 financially distressed municipalities; projects proposing to continue watershed based plan implementation; and projects proposed to accomplish or comply with minimum control measures in regulated municipal separate storm sewer systems communities.

 The NPS program will give first priority to applications that propose to address nonpoint source pollution originating from agriculture, stormwater runoff, stream channel degradation and sources of pollutants originating from abandoned mines and where the proposed project is identified in a Section 319 Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP). Preference will be given to those projects that most effectively address the impairments of concern in an approved WIP in a cost-effective way. The second priority will be projects that address NPSs of pollution to restore or protect water quality on a Statewide or regional basis.

 Projects funded by the Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act (52 P.S. §§ 1396.1—1396.19b) primary focus on the design, construction and/or rehabilitation of treatment facilities on legacy AMD discharge sites; however, grants may also be awarded for bond forfeited land reclamation projects. Preference will be given to projects most likely to significantly address the impacts of AMD discharges in a cost-effective way.

 The AMD Set Aside program requires that eligible projects must be located in Qualified Hydrologic Units (QHUC) (formerly called Qualified Hydrologic Units Plans) or in areas where QHUCs are being developed. The primary focus is abatement of AMD or treatment of AMD, or both, through treatment facility system construction. Priority will be given to projects supportive of goals established in the appropriate QHUC.

 The Department is authorized to allocate these grants to a variety of eligible applicants including: counties, authorities and municipalities; county conservation districts; incorporated watershed associations recognized by the Department who promote local watershed conservation efforts; councils of governments; and other authorized organizations involved in the restoration and protection of the environment in this Commonwealth.

 To access the application or obtain more information concerning Growing Greener, visit the Growing Greener web site at www.dep.pa.gov (search: Growing Greener). Persons can send e-mails to GrowingGreener@pa.gov or contact the Grants Center at (717) 705-5400.

 All four of these grant programs can be applied for by means of the Commonwealth's Electronic Single Application web site. Applications may be submitted on or after May 14, 2018, and will be accepted until July 13, 2018. Late submissions will not be considered. Faxes and e-mails will not be accepted.

PATRICK McDONNELL, 
Secretary

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 18-742. Filed for public inspection May 11, 2018, 9:00 a.m.]



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