Governor Tom Corbett announced that the Commonwealth Financing Authority approved nearly $5.6 million in funding to support 32 watershed restoration and protection projects throughout Pennsylvania.
The funds were a part of the $28.5 million made available over the past two years to fund six Marcellus Legacy Fund programs administered by the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA).
“We established the Act 13 Marcellus Legacy Fund to ensure a portion of the funds collected goes back to local communities to support environmental enhancement and conservation programs,” Corbett said. “The first round of funding will provide nearly $5.6 million to restore streams impaired by polluted runoff.”
The Watershed Restoration and Protection program funds projects, which restore and maintain restored stream reaches impaired by the uncontrolled discharge of nonpoint source polluted runoff. Projects will be funded with the goal of removing the streams from the Department of Environmental Protection’s Impaired Waters list.
The 32 approved watershed restoration and protection projects are located in Bedford, Centre, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Elk, Greene, Lancaster, Lehigh, Philadelphia, Potter, McKean, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, Union and Westmoreland counties.
In addition to the Watershed Restoration and Protection program, the CFA also approved five additional programs under the Marcellus Legacy Fund, which include Baseline Water Quality Data, Greenways, Trails and Recreation, Orphan or Abandoned Well Plugging, Flood Mitigation and Abandoned Mine Drainage Abatement and Treatment programs.
Act 13, which Corbett signed into law in 2012, authorized counties to impose an impact fee on unconventional natural gas wells.
To date, the fee has generated more than $400 million that is benefiting every Pennsylvanian. The majority of the revenues are distributed to local governments where drilling is taking place, with the remainder of the money used for statewide initiatives.
The programs are administered jointly by the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), and the Department of Environmental Protection, under the direction of the CFA.
For more information about the Act 13 Programs, the CFA or a complete list of approved projects, visit www.newPA.com or call 1-866-466-3972.