On behalf of Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell, Environmental Protection Secretary Kathleen A. McGinty today announced the opening of a $3 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 using innovative or new water and wastewater technology.
"This program provides the opportunity for applicants to take advantage of the latest technology to improve Pennsylvania's water and wastewater facilities," Secretary McGinty said. "Improvements can help prevent pollution, conserve water and reduce energy. At the same time, we support economic development and open 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.
New or innovative technology refers to technology that is commercially available, but not yet widely usedin Pennsylvania. New or innovative technology should provide significantadvantages over conventional technology.
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; innovative construction methods and materials to correct infiltration and inflow problems in sanitary and combined sewer collection and conveyance systems; and advanced wastewater treatment for nutrient removal in watersheds where nutrient removal has been identified by DEP as a priority.
"Water is a strategic and important resource for Pennsylvania," Secretary McGinty said. "Our commitment to sustained economic development and public health make water quality issues a top priority of this administration."
Highlighting the strategic importance that clean and healthy water resources have in protecting public health and ensuring Pennsylvania remains economically competitive, Governor Rendell's proposed 2004-05 budget would use $80 million over four years to enhance the health of waterways by limiting nutrient loading and preventing nonpoint source pollution, and redirects an additional $21 million a year to the Environmental Stewardship Fund to invest in groups that have revitalize communities, improve watersheds and protect the environment.
For the innovative water and wastewater technology grants, the deadline for submitting applications to the DEP Growing Greener Grants Center is June 30.
The application is available electronically on DEP's Web site at www.dep.state.pa.us.