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Pa Environment Digest Jan. 30, 2012

Pa Environment Digest Jan. 30, 2012

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Published by: www.PaEnvironmentDigest.com on Jan 28, 2012
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PA Environment Digest
An Update On Environmental Issues InPA
Edited By: David E. Hess, Crisci Associates
Winner 2009PAEE Business PartnerOf The Year AwardHarrisburg, PaJanuary 30, 2012Berks County Joins 350 Groups Supporting Renewal Of Growing Greener Program
TheRenew Growing Greener CoalitionThursday announced 35 counties – more than half thestate – have passed resolutions calling for the renewal of the Growing Greener EnvironmentalStewardship Fund, Pennsylvania’s primary source of funding to help local communities protectwater quality, preserve open space and farmland, and enhance parks, trails and other recreationalopportunities. Now more than 150 government entities, including 109 municipalities, representing morethan seven million Pennsylvanians, have passed resolutions calling for a dedicated source of funding for the Growing Greener Environmental Stewardship Fund.This week Berks County adopted a resolution in support of the Growing Greener initiative, marking a significant milestone in the efforts to save the critical program. In addition,BedfordCounty adopted a resolution this week.“The Growing Greener program has made a tremendous impact in counties throughoutthe Commonwealth,” said Chairman of the Berks County Board of Commissioners ChristianLeinbach. “In Berks County, the program has helped us enhance our heritage areas, conserve our open space and protect our water quality.We could not achieve this without Growing Greener.In Bedford County, Growing Greener has contributed to improvements at the SaxtonBorough and East Providence wastewater treatment plants and helped mitigate acid minedrainage in Broad Top Township.“Bedford County has effectively leveraged Growing Greener funds to achieve tangible,lasting results for our residents,” said Kirt Morris, Chairman of the Bedford County Board of Commissioners.“We cannot let this program die.”Growing Greener is a bipartisan program established in 1999 under Gov. Tom Ridge andlater expanded by Governors Schweiker and Rendell.Since its establishment, Growing Greener has created a legacy of success, preserving more than 107,000 acres of Pennsylvania’s familyfarmland, conserving more than 42,300 acres of threatened open space, adding 26,000 acres tostate parks and forests, capping more than 2,100 abandoned wells and restoring over 16,000acres of abandoned mine lands.Moreover, Growing Greener has contributed and leveraged billions of dollars to thePennsylvania economy by helping to boost tourism, create jobs and generate revenue.
 
Yet despite the program’s accomplishments, funding for Growing Greener projects andgrants fell from an average of approximately $150 million per year for the last six years to $27.3million in the current state budget, more than an 80 percent reduction.“With more than half the counties in Pennsylvania calling for the renewal of GrowingGreener, it is increasingly obvious that the legislature and Governor must take action,” saidAndrew Heath, executive director of the Renew Growing Greener Coalition.“The pendingMarcellus Shale legislation provides an opportunity to create a long-term, sustainable source of revenue for the Growing Greener Environmental Stewardship Fund.We cannot let thisopportunity slip away.”Specifically, the legislature is considering a provision that allocates 25 percent of therevenues from existing leases for oil and gas drilling on state forests to the Growing Greener Environmental Stewardship Fund.“The Renew Growing Greener Coalition stands firm in its support for the allocation of 25 percent of the existing revenues from the Oil and Gas Lease Fund to Growing Greener,” Heathsaid. “This is a smart solution that is consistent with the original intent of the Oil and Gas LeaseFund Act.”The Coalition also supports allocating a significant portion of an impact fee to GrowingGreener and encourages the Commonwealth to restore Growing Greener tipping fees to their original purpose of funding Growing Greener projects instead of paying bond debt expenses.In addition to Berks and Bedford, the following counties have adopted resolutions insupport of Growing Greener: Adams, Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Blair, Butler, Cambria,Centre, Chester, Clearfield, Dauphin, Elk, Erie, Fayette, Greene, Huntington, Indiana,Lackawanna, Lawrence, Lehigh, Luzerne, Lycoming, Monroe, Philadelphia, Pike, Somerset,Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Washington, Westmoreland, Wyoming and York.To date, more than 140 government entities, including 109 municipalities, representingmore than seven million Pennsylvanians, have passed resolutions calling for a dedicated sourceof funding for the Growing Greener Environmental Stewardship Fund.TheRenew Growing Greener Coalitionis the largest coalition of conservation, recreationand environmental organizations in the Commonwealth, consisting of nearly 350 organizationsand government entities from across the state.
NewsClips:
 
Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Lancaster Farmland Trust Join Growing Greener Board
Andrew Heath, executive director of theRenew Growing Greener Coalition, Friday announcedthe Coalition has added LeeAnn Murray from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and KarenMartynick from the Lancaster Farmland Trust to its executive committee.
 
The change was made after PennFuture, PennEnvironment, the Sierra Club and 10,000Friends of Pennsylvania bailed out of the Coalitionin December.The Renew Growing Greener Coalition is the largest coalition of conservation, recreationand environmental organizations in the Commonwealth, consisting of nearly 350 organizationsand government entities from across the state.“LeeAnn and Karen, and their organizations, are strong environmental and conservationleaders in Pennsylvania,” said Larry Williamson, chairman of the Renew Growing Greener Coalition. “We look forward to their contributions to the executive committee as the Coalitioncontinues to push for renewed funding to protect our drinking water, conserve our land andwildlife, enhance recreational opportunities and stimulate the economic recovery across thestate.”In addition to representatives from Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Lancaster FarmlandTrust, the Renew Growing Greener Coalition executive committee comprises:Cynthia Carrow – Western Pennsylvania Conservancy; John Walliser – Pennsylvania Environmental Council;Molly Morrison –Natural Lands Trust; and R. John Dawes – Foundation for PennsylvaniaWatersheds.Other founding organizations of the Coalition are: Phil Wallis – Audubon of Pennsylvania; Mary Felley – GreenSpace Alliance; Alan Chace – HeritagePA; Dulcie Flaharty – Montgomery County Lands Trust; Todd Baylson –Pennsylvania Horticultural Society; AndyLoza – Pennsylvania Land Trust Association; Marci Mowery – Pennsylvania Parks and ForestsFoundation; Kim Woodward – Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society; Mike DiBerardinis – Philadelphia Department of Recreation; Mindy Crawford – Preservation Pennsylvania; ToddMcNew – The Conservation Fund; Ron Ramsey – The Nature Conservancy; and Tom Gilbert – Trust for Public LandGrowing Greener is a bipartisan program established in 1999 under Gov. Tom Ridge andlater expanded by Governors Schweiker and Rendell. Since its establishment, Growing Greener has created a legacy of success, preserving more than 107,000 acres of Pennsylvania’s familyfarmland, conserving more than 42,300 acres of threatened open space, adding 26,000 acres tostate parks and forests, capping more than 2,100 abandoned wells and restoring over 16,000acres of abandoned mine lands.Moreover, Growing Greener has contributed and leveraged billions of dollars to thePennsylvania economy by helping to boost tourism, create jobs and generate revenue.Yet despite the program’s accomplishments, funding for Growing Greener projects andgrants fell from an average of approximately $150 million per year for the last six years to $27.3million in the current state budget, more than an 80 percent reduction.To date, more than 140 government entities, including 109 municipalities, representingmore than seven million Pennsylvanians, have passed resolutions calling for a dedicated sourceof funding for the Growing Greener Environmental Stewardship Fund.TheRenew Growing Greener Coalitionis the largest coalition of conservation, recreationand environmental organizations in the Commonwealth, consisting of nearly 350 organizationsand government entities from across the state.
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