Natural Gas Impact Tax Funds Pa.’s “Largest Single Investment” in Environmental Programs

Environmental programs have access to $34 million in new state grants largely funded through the state’s tax on natural gas development, the Pa. Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently announced.

Considered the “largest single investment of state funds in Pennsylvania’s history to address Pennsylvania’s critical environmental concerns,” about 50% of revenue allocated to Pa.’s Growing Greener fund is supported by the unique tax on natural gas.

The natural gas impact fee has contributed $68.1 million to the Growing Greener program since Act 13 was passed in 2012. Growing Greener resources are in addition to the nearly $2 billion generated in natural gas impact fee revenues that have directly benefitted each county, municipalities and statewide environmental and conservation programs.

“Growing Greener awardees help keep Pennsylvania clean,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “It is imperative that communities in Pennsylvania receive the necessary funding to reduce pollutants in area waterways.”

This year, 149 programs – ranging from farm preservation groups to local water cleanup efforts – have been selected as recipients.

Here’s a breakdown of funding for each region in the state this year:

Northcentral Pa.– $3 million to support Bradford, Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Columbia, Lycoming, Montour, Northumberland, Potter, Snyder, Sullivan, Tioga and Union counties, including:

  • $325,000 for the Bradford Co. Watershed Initiative
  • $292,000 to Lycoming Co. Conservation District for its Best Management Practice Pollution Reduction Program
  • $60,000 to the Columbia Co. Conservation District for water quality improvement projects
  • $49,000 for the Chesapeake Bay Streambank Stabilization

Northeastern Pa. – more than $5 million for 22 projects in Carbon, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Northampton, Pike, Schuylkill, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming counties, including:

  • $911,000 for the Sand Spring Stream Bank Restoration Project in Monroe Co.
  • $500,000 to the Lake Wallenpaupack Watershed Management District
  • $60,000 to Lehigh Co. for Cedar Creek Enhancement in South Whitehall Township

Northwestern Pa. – $3.7 million for 20 projects across Armstrong, Butler, Clarion, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, Indiana, Jefferson, Lawrence, Mckean, Mercer, Venango and Warren counties, including:

  • $300,000 to Adams Twp. in Butler Co. for flood plan restoration
  • $300,000 to the Lake Erie Healthy Watershed Project
  • $231,389 for the Buffalo Creek Watershed Coalition in Armstrong Co.
  • $154,812 for the Clarion River Protection Project in Jefferson Co.

Southcentral Pa. – $12 million will support 43 different projects in Adams, Bedford, Berks, Blair, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Mifflin, Perry and York counties, including:

  • More than $1.2 million for Lancaster’s Stroud Water Research Center
  • $500,000 to York Co. for the Codorus Creek Beautification Initiative
  • $255,980 for Cumberland Co.’s Yellow Breeches Trout Habitat and Stream Bank Restoration project

Southeastern Pa. – Nearly $5 million for 24 projects throughout Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties, including:

  • $300,000 for the City of Coatesville in Chester Co., for the Millview Basin Stormwater Retrofit
  • $175,000 for the Schuylkill River Development Corporation, Repairing the Tidal Schuylkill River Bulkhead in Philadelphia Co.
  • $199,461 for pollution reduction in Penndel Borough, Bucks Co.

Southwestern Pa. – $2.7 million to support 20 projects in Allegheny, Beaver, Cambria, Fayette, Greene, Somerset, Washington and Westmoreland counties, including:

  • $581,589 for the Wilkinsburg Stormwater Resiliency Project in Allegheny Co.
  • $200,000 for the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy Abandoned Mine Reclamation program
  • $25,000 for the Beaver Co. Conservation District’s Racoon Creek Streambank Remediation Program
  • $34,960 to the Westmoreland Heritage Trail for Streambank Stabilization along Turtle Creek