Conservation District to Seek Water Quality Grants

By Napsha, Joe | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, May 9, 2018 | Go to article overview

Conservation District to Seek Water Quality Grants


Napsha, Joe, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


The Westmoreland Conservation District is considering projects to stabilize streambanks to prevent erosion and restore stormwater retention ponds as it seeks a share of more than $20 million in state aid for improving the region’s water quality.

“We work in conjunction with all of the watershed associations on the projects — Sewickley, Turtle Creek, Loyalhanna and the Kiski and Conemaugh. We like to spread the wealth around,” said James Pillsbury, hydraulic engineer for the conservation district.

The state Department of Environmental Protection said Wednesday it has more than $20 million available in Growing Greener Plus grants to municipalities and nonprofits for a variety of water quality projects.

The conservation district has received close to $2 million in Growing Greener Plus grants over the past several years, Pillsbury said. Growing Greener Plus has provided almost $300 million for more than 2,100 projects statewide, the DEP said.

The money can be used for projects to reduce pollution from farms, city stormwater runoff, and acid mine drainage at abandoned coal mine sites. The projects may be large or small, focus on a single site or an entire watershed that covers multiple counties. Any project that helps communities meet their minimum stormwater control measures will also be prioritized, the state said.

The conservation district has not yet compiled a “wish list” of projects to apply for the grants, but any projects for which it seeks funding must have an almost-complete design, Pillsbury said.

In Scottdale, the Jacobs Creek Watershed Association wants to apply for money to create a “green alleyway” in a two-block alley to the rear of Pittsburgh Street, the main thoroughfare in downtown Scottdale, said Annie Quinn, executive director of the association. …

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