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EPA Announces Sustainability Pilot Project for the Delaware River Basin
November 29, 2004
Ann Brown (brown.ann@epa.gov); (919) 541-7818

Washington, D.C. - The Environmental Protection Agency announced the commencement of a pilot project in the Delaware River Basin of Pennsylvania that will develop and implement sustainable water resource management strategies in a watershed threatened by high growth. The collaborative project is being conducted by scientists and engineers inside and outside of government working together as part of EPA’s Collaborative Science and Technology Network for Sustainability (CNS).

“Through this network, we are building the science and technology to address environmental protection proactively,” said Dr. Paul Gilman, EPA Science Advisor and Assistant Administrator for Research and Development. “We are working with numerous partners to achieve the long-term environmental, economic, and quality-of-life goals that are the basis for sustainability.”

Organizations participating in the project, called the Sustainable Watershed Management in the Delaware River Basin, include the Delaware River Basin Commission, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Monroe County, Pa. and local municipalities, the Brodhead Watershed Association, and other stakeholders. The project will evaluate the effects of growth and land use change on ground water, stream flow, and the ecology of Pocono Creek. Tools will be developed to determine the sustainable groundwater withdrawal limits considering environmental, economic, and social concerns. Those sustainable limits will be implemented by Monroe County to maintain the high quality of life in the watershed as future growth occurs. Research findings and results will be transferred to other parts of the Basin, as well as to other regions of the country.

Another pilot project under way by the CNS is developing and evaluating sustainable stream restoration technologies that can be transferred throughout the Mid-Atlantic Highlands area and other regions of the country. The project, called the Sustainable Ecosystem Restoration in Mid-Atlantic Highlands, is being conducted in cooperation with the Canaan Valley Institute, local communities, state and local governments of the Mid-Atlantic Highlands in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, West Virginia University, and other stakeholders.

EPA created the Collaborative Science and Technology Network for Sustainability to encourage innovative practical applications of science and engineering for sustainability projects. These projects will consider economic, social, and environmental priorities and will address problems on a regional scale. EPA anticipates the announcement of more projects early in 2005.

For more information about these pilot projects, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/sustainability/pilots.htm. To learn more about other EPA sustainability programs see: http://www.epa.gov/sustainability.

EPA relies on quality science as the basis for sound policy and decision-making. EPA's laboratories, research centers, and grantees are building the scientific foundation needed to support the Agency's mission to safeguard human health and the environment.

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