DEP Citizens Advisory Council Meets Oct. 20 To Hear Update On PA Chesapeake Bay Watershed Cleanup Efforts

DEP’s Citizens Advisory Council will hold a virtual meeting on October 20 to hear an update on Pennsylvania’s efforts to clean up rivers and streams in the state’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

Jill Whitcomb, Director of DEP’s Chesapeake Bay Program Office, will provide the update on progress meeting the Bay cleanup goals.

Here are a few things that happened in the last few months--

-- State budget-related items--

     -- Partial Year Budget: The state passed a five-month FY 2020-21 budget in May that pushed all the hard decisions about making up a $4 to $5 billion state budget deficit to after the election in November.  Read more here.

     -- Raid Special Funds: New House Speaker Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) said the first place Republicans will look first to fill deep budget holes is dedicated funds, many of which are used to fund farm conservation and environmental restoration projects. Read more here.

     --  Freeze on Conservation Funding: House Republicans passed House Bill 1822 that freezes state funding for county conservation districts, local farm conservation and environmental restoration projects. Lancaster Clean Water Partners said it would be ‘devastating’ to their efforts. Read more here.

     -- Reallocation Conservation Funding: House Republicans also moved House Bill 2004 which allows the reallocation of the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund which is used, in part, for permanent land conservation initiatives.  Read more here.

-- EPA Section 319 Grants: DEP awards $4.9 million in EPA Section 319 grants for 23 watershed restoration projects, $3 million still available.  Read more here.

-- Targeted BMP Funding: DEP invests $3.7 million to help farmers plan, install BMPs in Adams, Chester Lancaster Counties.  Read more here.

-- Rivers Conservation Funding: DCNR invests $2.85 million in Rivers Conservation, Recreation, Streamside Buffers.  Read more here.

-- DCNR 10,000 Landowners: DCNR launched a program seeking 10,000 landowners for the Buffer My Stream Initiative in Adams, Franklin, Huntingdon, Lancaster and York counties.  Read more here.

-- EPA, National Fish & Wildlife Foundation awards $7.46 million for Chesapeake Bay Watershed restoration grants.  Read more here.

-- EPA opened application period for $3.6 million for on-farm conservation projects in 38 Chesapeake Bay-related priority watersheds in Pennsylvania.  Read more here.

-- EPA provides $3.84 million for Pennsylvania efforts to reduce farm-related pollution in Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Read more here.

-- PennVEST funds Center for Water Quality Excellence for Nutrient, Sediment Reduction in Lancaster and York counties.  Read more here.

-- Sen. Yaw introduces bipartisan bill creating new program to pay for on-farm conservation practices. A funding source needs to be identified.  Read more here.

-- EPA finds Pennsylvania did not meet its targets for reducing water pollution in Bay watershed, must identify funding sources for 2020-21.  Read more here.

-- Congress passes bill reauthorizing the federal Chesapeake Bay ProgramRead more here.

-- August DEP Chesapeake Bay newsletter provides general update on program.  Read more here.

-- The PA Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Team met in July for a program update.  Read more here.

And the elephant in the room-- in September, the Chesapeake Bay Funding and other states in the watershed filed a lawsuit against EPA over its failure to hold Pennsylvania and New York accountable for not meeting clean water obligations.  Read more here.

Public Comment

Individuals interested in providing public comments during the meeting must sign up prior to the start of the meeting by contacting Keith Salador, Executive Director, by calling 717-787-8171 or sending email to:

The meeting will start at 12:30 p.m.  Click Here to register to join by WebEx.   Conference Call: 1-415-655-0003   Access code: 132 377 3977

For more information and available handouts, visit DEP’s Citizens Advisory Council webpage.  Questions should be directed to Keith Salador, Executive Director, by calling 717-787-8171 or sending email to:

How Clean Is Your Stream?

DEP’s Interactive Report Viewer allows you to zoom in on your own stream or watershed to find out how clean your stream is or if it has impaired water quality using the latest information in the draft 2020 Water Quality Report.

Related Articles - Watershed Restoration:

-- New Poll Shows 90% Of PA Voters Want Senate, House Members To Address Environmental, Conservation Priorities, Provide More Funding For Critical Programs

-- DEP Awards $4.9 Million In EPA Section 319 Grants To 23 Watershed Restoration Projects; $3 Million Still Available

-- New Trees Are Healing North Harford Maple Farm From Abandoned Constitution Natural Gas Pipeline Clearcut In Susquehanna County

-- Stroud Center: Volunteers Help Plant Trees For Healthy Streams In Chester County

-- Lancaster Clean Water Partners: Stormwater Lunch & Learn Virtual Mini Series

-- NRCS-PA: $30 Million Available In PA To Restore, Safeguard Wetlands Ecosystems

-- NSAC: Final USDA Farm Conservation Stewardship Rule Will Harm Farmers, Set Back Conservation Efforts

-- U.S. Dept. Of Energy Awards $1.95 Million For Conceptual Designs For Rare Earth Mineral Extraction From Coal Sources, Including 4 PA Projects

-- Help Wanted: PA Assn. Of Conservation Districts Agricultural Conservation Technician

[Posted: October 11, 2020]


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