PA's Growing Greener legislation is among the most progressive environmental laws in the nation, providing a substantial funding source to a variety of environmental projects. The program specifically recognizes AMD/AML problems as a significant environmental challenge and makes money available for projects through a grants program.
The Growing Greener Program (Environmental Stewardship & Watershed Protection Act of 1999) first signed into law by Gov. Tom Ridge in 1999 invested nearly $650 million over six years to preserve farmland and protect open space; eliminate the maintenance backlog in State Parks; clean up abandoned mines and restore watersheds; and provide new and upgraded water and sewer systems.
In 2002, the state budget signed into law by Gov. Mark Schweiker doubled the funding committed to the Growing Greener Program to $1.3 billion, extending the program to 2012 and providing a specific, dedicated source of funding.
The extension and doubling of funding for the Growing Greener Program was made possible by the adoption of a new $4/ton tipping fee on solid waste disposed in Pennsylvania. The first $50 million of revenue from the fee for fiscal year 2002-03 will go to Growing Greener and next fiscal year and beyond all the revenue generated by the fee will be dedicated to Growing Greener.
PA watershed associations, particularly those impacted by AMD/AMR, should become very familiar with this program.
Growing Greener on PA DEP's web site