The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection awarded $4.9 million in Section 319 Nonpoint 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 grant funding is available for further project grant applications.
“The Section 319 program tackles the broad challenge of nonpoint source pollution watershed by watershed,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell.
“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.”
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; and 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.
Berks County Conservation District has received $130,140 to develop, in partnership with the Center for Watershed Protection, a Watershed Implementation Plan for the Upper Little Swatara Creek Watershed in Berks and Lebanon Counties.