On behalf of Gov. Mark Schweiker, Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary David E. Hess announced that DEP is accepting applications for New and Innovative Wastewater Technology Growing Greener Grants as part of its ongoing efforts to help clean up the Chesapeake Bay.
"Pennsylvania is taking another step in implementing the Chesapeake 2000 Bay Agreement by using this year's grants to reduce nutrient discharges from publicly owned treatment plants," Secretary Hess said. "These grants will promote the use of innovative ideas and pollution-prevention techniques to address the restoration of Pennsylvania surface waters and the Chesapeake Bay."
DEP will provide $3.3 million in Growing Greener funds to improve existing sewage treatment facilities through the use of new or innovative technology. "These funds will be used to provide grants to municipalities and sewer authorities in the Chesapeake Bay watershed," Secretary Hess said. "The grants will help reduce the local cost for the nutrient-reduction portions of their projects."
The municipalities who apply will be eligible for up to 80 percent of the local design and construction costs of the Nutrient Reduction Technology (NRT) portion of any project. Planning costs for upgrades will not be eligible, but are eligible for reimbursement under the Sewage Facilities Act Planning program (Act 537).
Eligible proposals will address substantial nutrient-pollution sources from sewage treatment systems that discharge into the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and fit into one of the following categories: construction, replacement and/or installation of sewage-treatment facilities.
The deadline for submitting new and innovative technology grant applications to the DEP Grants Center is Sept. 6.
In addition to the Growing Greener program, Pennsylvania has more than $280 million available through the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) for loans and grants to fund water, sewer and stormwater infrastructure upgrades.
Funding for the Growing Greener program was doubled and extended through 2012 in the state budget recently signed into law by Gov. Schweiker. DEP's portion of Growing Greener funding was increased to $547.7 million from $241.5 million in the original program.