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Release Date: 11/23/1999
Contact Information: Cyndy Yu-Robinson, (215) 814-5557

Cyndy Yu-Robinson, (215) 814-5557

HERSHEY, Pa. - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has designated the Swatara Creek watershed in Lebanon County, Pa. as its newest green community. A ceremony officially recognizing the watershed is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on November 23 in conjunction with the Pennsylvania county commissioners’ meeting at the Hotel Hershey.

The Environmental Protection Agency will present the Swatara Creek Watershed Association, along with its partners, Berks, Dauphin, Lebanon, and Schuylkill Counties, with an approved highway sign indicating that Swatara Creek watershed is a "participating Green Community." Swatara Creek is a tributary to the Susquehanna River; improved water quality in the creek affects that of the Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay.

Over the last decade, the watershed association has worked cooperatively with state agencies to address acid mine drainage problems, restore streambanks, and monitor water quality. While its primary focus has been water quality improvements, the association has also tackled more difficult issues that ultimately affect long-term livability of the watershed, earning its distinction as a Green Community. The association addressed land use planning, sustainable growth, and infrastructure planning by promoting public-private partnerships and local projects.

"The Green Community designation for Swatara Creek watershed recognizes the continuing commitment of central Pennsylvanians to a sustainable future. Their rewards are a healthy environment, strong economy, and high quality of life," said Thomas Voltaggio, EPA acting regional administrator.

A Green Community assistance kit is available on the internet. It provides a step-by-step, easy-to-use framework for analyzing, planning and implementing sustainable activities. Only a handful of other communities, including York, Pa., Union County, Pa., and King and Queen County, Va., have been designated as Green Communities. For more information on the Green Communities program or to view the assistance kit, go to