Details Show $321 Million Diverted Or Cut From Environmental Agency Budgets
The details in Gov. Rendell's proposed 2010-11 budget show more than $321.5 million in cuts and funding diversions from the departments of Agriculture, Environmental Protection and Conservation and Natural Resources.
The proposal locks in $79 million in agency cuts made in the 2009-10 budget, makes an additional $5 million in cuts, diverts $180 million from DCNR's Oil and Gas Fund to help balance the budget, cuts $5.5 million from the Resources Enhancement and Protection (REAP) farm conservation tax credit program and reduces support for wastewater treatment plants by $52 million (carried over from previous years).
So far the Governor said there would be no need for any more staff furloughs to help balance the budget.
Here are some quick facts on each agency budget--
Sewage Facilities Planning Grants cut $100,000
Sewage Faiclities Enforcement Grants cut $300,000
Stormwater Management - zeroed out
Environmental Stewardship Fund Watershed Protection cut $1 million
Conservation Districts cut $31,000
Nutrient Management Fund increase $614,000
Consumer Eduction Program - zeroed out
Recycling Fund - reducing grants $8.3 million because Recycling Fee needs to be extended
Conservation & Natural Resources
Overall - General Fund cut $994,000, overall counting all funds cut $23.7 million
Heritage Park Grants - zeroed out
Keystone Park & Forest Facilities - increased $3.9 million
Keystone Grants for Local Recreation - increased $3.2 million
Keystone Grants for Land Trusts - increased $1.3 million
Oil and Gas Fund - transfers $180 million to the General Fund to balance the budget from State Forest Marcellus Shale natural gas lease revenues.
Overall - General Fund cut $5.3 million, overall counting all funds cut $101,000
Conservation Districts cut $570,000
Nutrient Management Fund cut $100,000
Environmental Stewardship Fund - for the first time more than half of the income in the Fund will go for debt service -- $36.8 million-- with only $33.2 remaining for projects. The amount of debt service will increase to $60 million of the $66 million in new revenues coming into the Fund.
REAP Tax Credit - As proposed last year in the two-year budget, the Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) farm conservation tax credit will be funded at $4.5 million, down from $5 million in the current year and $10 million in the first years.
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