MAY 2009

Pennsylvania DEP awards grants to clear dump sites

Communities and non-profit groups across Pennsylvania will receive financial assistance to help clean up more than 350 illegal dump sites as Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) acting Secretary John Hanger announced nearly $500,000 in Community Cleanup Program Illegal Dump Grants.

Following is a list of the Community Cleanup Program Illegal Dump Grants by county:

Allegheny County

Allegheny County Cleanways - $8,944 to clean up seven sites within the county. Two sites will require a contractor due to safety hazards associated with the dump site locations. After the sites are cleaned up a restoration and stewardship plan will be implemented.

Pennsylvania Resources Council - $3,750 for a two-weekend cleanup event throughout the City of Pittsburgh, sponsored by the mayor's office - Clean Pittsburg h Commission - and includes volunteers from over 60 neighborhoods and 30 city schools and the Allegheny Health Department.

Berks County

City of Reading - $25,000 to cleanup of vacant lots, alleys, parks, playgrounds and open spaces throughout the city. This multi-partner project includes the Berks County Conservancy, ADAPT, and the Pagoda Skyline Volunteers. Reading Beautiful will promote the cleanup event. Berks County Crime Alert will install a telephone tip hotline that provides rewards up to $5,000 for arrest of illegal dumpers.

Berks County Solid Waste Authority - $12,590 for a county wide program to cleanup dump sites in 73 municipalities as identified in the PA CleanWays Illegal Dump Surveys. Each municipality is providing the labor and equipment while partnering with the county.

Hay Creek Watershed Association - $1,500 for a volunteer-based project to remove trash from the Hay Creek stream bank in partnership with the Bureau of Forestry.

Bradford County

Bradford County Conservation District - $21,450 for a cleanup of 10 streamside locations where illegal dumping has caused environmental and aesthetic problems. These sites are located within the Sugar, Towanda, Bentley, Laning and Satterlee Creek watersheds. These projects include the removal of trash, site stabilization and revegetation.

Cambria County

Cambria County Conservation District - $4,350 for the cleanup of nine sites located throughout the county using volunteers and contractors. Partners include PA CleanWays of Cambria County and AmeriCorps members.

Centre County

Centre County Solid Waste Authority - $24,400 for the cleanup and remediation of the Rufus Zook historic sink hole dump by using the Spring Creek Watershed Coalition, the Penns Valley Conservation Association, the Pennsylvania Game Commission, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, and the Pennsylvania State Police.

Clearwater Conservancy - $20,900 for the Clearwater Conservancy's Watershed Cleanup Day. This is a county-wide cleanup with hundreds of volunteers and partners. The event is projected to collect 185 tons of trash, 5 tons of scrap metal and 10 tons of tires. This event was established in 1997.

Clinton County

Clinton County Cleanscap es - $4,104 for a local partnership program with Lock Haven University, Wayne Township Landfill, Keystone Central School District and Bucktail High School to cleanup six sites using volunteers and contractors.

Dauphin County

Twin Valley Conservation - $12,415 for a cleanup of two large historical dump sites in difficult terrain located in Powell's Creek Watershed. A fence will be installed as a deterrent to future dumping.

Dauphin County Conservation District - $3,475 for five cleanup events identified through the PA CleanWays Illegal Dump Survey. Volunteers and contractors will be used to assist in the cleanups.

City of Harrisburg - $25,000 to cleanup 30 dumpsites located throughout the city as identified by the PA CleanWays Illegal Dump County Survey. Partners include the Dauphin County Solid Waste Bureau, County Probation Office, South Allison Hill Action Commission and other community-based organizations. This effort will contribute to the city's existing program of addressing illegal dumping.

Elk County

Elk County - $2,775 to clean up a large historical dump located near the Jay Township's water source. This site is also under remediation by DEP's Bureau of Abandon Mine Reclamation and this cleanup will aid in the restoration program.

Fayette County

Greater Redstone Conservancy - $7,565 for the removal of trash from a historical dumpsite located at Downers Run Creek. The event will use student volunteers from the Penn State-Fayette Campus in partnership with PA CleanWays of Fayette County. These students will continue the project by monitoring the site.

Fulton County

Fulton County Conservation District - $2,620 for a program to address four historic tire piles. This project will remove and recycle an estimated ten tons of tires throughout the county. This will diminish the need to monitor and treat the illegal tire piles for West Nile Virus.

Huntingdon County

Huntingdon County Conservation District - $2,620 to clean up a decade's old dumpsite located with 100 feet of Coal Bank Run. It will utilize contractors and volunteers from the Shoup's Run Watershed Association and the PA CleanWays of Huntingdon County. Tires and scrap metal will be recycled.

Indiana County

Western Pennsylvania Conservancy - $14,397 to restore two dump sites located within the Little Mahoning Creek Watershed. Both sites are located within 50 feet of the waterway. An estimated 34 tons of trash and recycled materials will be removed by the local townships, Trout Unlimited, the Indiana County Conservation District and Little Mahoning Creek Watershed Association.

Lackawanna County

Jessup Borough - $25,000 for a cleanup of four sites within the borough by local community volunteers, borough employees, PPL Utilities and contractors who have initiated a crime watch group to organize the cleanup.

Lackawanna River Corridor Association - $22,300 for a cleanup to restore two river corridor sites in preparation for future use as part of the Lackawanna River Greenway.

Ransom Township - $10,906 for township officials to remove trash and tires along a 2.5 mile stretch of River Road along the Susquehanna River. The township will install surveillance cameras and increase police presence.

Lackawanna County Conservation District - $8,000 for the conservation district to cleanup eight dump sites in four municipalities using volunteers, including local government officials, watershed associations and high schools.

Throop Borough - $25,000 to cleanup 48-acre parcel of property owned by the borough. The land, adjacent to the Lackawanna River, was acquired from the state and is being developed into a recreational complex.

Lancaster County

New Holland Borough - $8,908 to remove trash, tires and debris from 840 acres of Lancaster County Conservancy property.

Eden Township - $1,791 to eliminate dump sites along the 2.7 mile abandon railroad right-of-way that was donated to Eden Township by Norfolk Southern Railroad and will be developed into a rail-trail.

Lawrence County

Lawrence County Recycling - $12,199 for the Lawrence County Recycling and Solid Waste Department and Butler County PA CleanWays to cleanup several sites of approximately 1,500 tires and other environmental threats such as household hazardous waste and fire hazards. The project will also develop a local illegal dump enforcement program.

Lehigh County

Lehigh County Conservation District - $9,560 to cleanup numerous dump areas within the Saucon Creek Watershed, and along the SEPTA trail line which is currently being developed into a rail trail.

Luzerne County

Eastern Pennsylvania Coalition Abandon Mine Reclamation - $16,000 for six cleanups located throughout Luzerne County associated with abandon mine reclamations projects. The Wyoming Valley Watershed PRIDE Association, Earth Conservancy, Anthracite Living History Group, King's College, Wilkes University and local coal operators are involved in the site cleanups and restorations.

Pennsylvania Environmental Council - $25,000 for volunteers and contractors to remediate five sites located in the Earth Conservancy property and Pa. State Game Lands. These cleanups will involve the Friends of the Nescopeck Creek, Butler Township, Luzerne Office of Solid Waste, Sugarloaf Township and the Earth Conservancy.

Mercer County

City of Ferrell - $20,000 for a contractor to cleanup the Hillside Dump which is located entirely in the city. This site has been active since the 1960s.

Mifflin County

Mifflin County Conservation District - $7,150 for the removal of two tire piles, containing approximately 3,000 tires that have floated down the Juniata River and accumulated at two sites. Volunteers will be recruited from the Juvenile and Adult Detention Program of Mifflin County.

Monroe County

Monroe County Commissioners - $10,199 for multiple municipalities, including East Stroudsburg, Polk Borough, Jackson Township, Chestnut Hill, and Tunkhannock, to clean up 13 dump sites using local volunteers.

Montgomery County

Wissahickon Valley Watershed - $1,141 to remove 200 tires from the Wissahickon Creek. The watershed association and the Bethlehem Baptist Church are providing volunteers.

Northampton County

City of Easton - $10,000 for Palmer Township, City of Easton, Easton Housing Authority, West Ward Neighborhood Partnership/Community Action Agency of the Lehigh Valley, and Lafayette College to conduct a cleanup of the city's West Ward for the development of a multi-municipal trail project.

Northumberland County

Habitat for Wildlife - $3,397 to cleanup 17 dumpsites located on county-owned property. Northumberland Juvenile Probation Office will provide the volunteers. Removal of these dump sites will reduce the potential for groundwater pollution and mine fires.

Perry County

Perry County - $7,170 for cleanup of two dumps on New Ridge Road and Mays Hollow Road. Partners include the Perry County Conservation District, Tuscarora Township and local volunteers. These sites include a large amount of scrap metal and tires that will be collected and recycled.

Philadelphia County

Cobbs Creek Community - $20,802 to clean up a major gateway into Philadelphia located in Fairmount Park, using 100-200 volunteers from Life Center of Eastern Delaware County. This project will clear and restore the entrance to the creek and trails. A passive barrier will be created using native trees and plants. This will enhance the safety of the area and make it less desirable for dumping.

City of Philadelphia - $10,000 for a city-wide cleanup utilizing 177 registered community groups for the annual cleanup day.

Susquehanna Pickup - $5,800 for the cleanup of vacant lots and illegal dumps in North Central Philadelphia utilizing city block captains, local residents, Temple University students and volunteers from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.

Schuylkill County

Blythe Township - $15,200 to clean up 200 tons of trash and 40 tons of tires along Burma Road. A gate and rocks have been installed to deny access to the property.

Venango County

Cornplanter Township - $13,276 to use contractors to clean up two dumpsites identified by the PA CleanWays Illegal Dump Survey. These sites are active and continue to accumulate trash. The successful cleanup of these areas will eliminate 24 percent of the county's total reported tonnage from the surveys.

Multiple counties

PA CleanWays - $22,410 to clean up seven sites in five counties. The project anticipates using over 130 volunteers and contractors to remove 119 tons of trash and 750 tires.

Hanger said illegal dump sites are a problem across the state. These grants will assist partnerships of communities, organizations, businesses and local governments to clean up neighborhoods and natural areas that have become eyesores and threats to the public’s health and safety and the environment.

Grants of up to $25,000 were awarded on a competitive basis to help fund 42 organizations with cleanup projects in 31 counties. These cleanup efforts are expected to remove an estimated 2,200 tons of illegally discarded trash from the environment.

Hanger said cleaning up illegal dump sites is just the beginning. He stressed the need for education, surveillance and enforcement to prevent illegal dumping. Last month, PA CleanWays, in conjunction with DEP, conducted illegal dump cleanup workshops at five locations across the state.