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Schuylkill Action Network to receive $1.15 million EPA grant

Release Date: 7/19/2004
Contact Information: Roy Seneca 215-814-5567

Contact: Roy Seneca 215-814-5567
PHILADELPHIA – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced a $1.15 million grant to support the continuing efforts of the Schuylkill Action Network to address water quality issues in the Schuylkill River Basin in southeastern Pennsylvania.

“This funding recognizes the public and private partnerships and will accelerate the pace of environmental improvement of the Schuylkill River watershed. The continuing dedication of the Schuylkill Action Network will ensure cleaner water and measurable environmental change,” said Donald S. Welsh, regional administrator for EPA’s mid-Atlantic region.

The Schuylkill Action Network – formed in March 2003 – includes EPA, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Philadelphia Water Department, Delaware River Basin Commission, Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, conservation districts, local, state and federal agencies, watershed organizations, non-governmental organizations, and other essential stakeholders assisting with the crafting of local solutions.

The grant will be presented later this year to the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, which will work with its grant co-applicant, the Philadelphia Water Department, and other partners to implement more than 70 projects to limit the impacts from storm water, agricultural runoff and acid drainage from abandoned coal mines. Some projects will also focus on developing market-based incentives for pollution trading and innovative technology impacts.

During President Bush’s 2002 State of the Union address, he asked the nation’s governors and tribal leaders to nominate proposals to support community-based approaches to clean up the nation’s watersheds. This year, Congress appropriated $15 million for this Targeted Watershed Grant Program, which was conceived to encourage community-based approaches to restore, preserve and protect the nation’s watersheds and to promote strong public/private partnerships that lead to measurable environ-men-tal results.

The 14 grant recipients announced today were selected from 115 nominations nationwide that were reviewed by regional and national experts. Each of the selectees exhibited strong partnerships, showed innovation, and demonstrated compatibility with existing governmental programs.

The 130-mile Schuylkill River is a source of drinking water to more than 1.5 million people. With 180 tributaries, the river drains an area of 2,000 square miles and is the largest tributary to the Delaware River Estuary. Industrialization and mining in the last two centuries has left the Schuylkill with problems of storm water runoff, agricultural pollution, abandoned mine drainage, and sewage overflows.