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DEP Awards Grant to Help Small Water Suppliers Meet Updated Standards

On August 27, 2012, the Department of Environmental Protection announced that it has awarded the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) a $125,000 grant to guide small public water supply systems through the commission’s water withdrawal approval process.

Some existing approvals, granted prior to today’s more comprehensive resource-management standards, will soon expire. This grant will help those systems’ operators comply with the new process.

“DEP is working with the commission to ensure that the smaller systems receive the technical assistance needed to navigate today’s regulatory environment,” DEP Deputy Secretary for Water Management Kelly Heffner said. “This grant will allow the commission to provide system-specific guidance for facilities that are dependent on water from the watershed.”

“SRBC is very aware that smaller public water systems often lack the resources to prepare and complete applications that are substantially more involved now than they were 25 or 30 years ago,” SRBC Executive Director Paul Swartz said. “Thanks to this grant from DEP, we will be able to provide training and assistance to these smaller, rural local government systems that will, in turn, improve the quality of the applications the commission receives.”

SRBC will use a selection process to identify the small public water supply systems in the Pennsylvania portion of the Susquehanna River Basin needing the most assistance to develop system-specific compliance and permitting action plans. The plans will outline a course of action for preparing and submitting applications to SRBC. In addition to guiding the public systems through SRBC’s application process, the grant will allow SRBC to help the local governments identify potential system capacity needs, reduce consulting costs and provide technical hydrogeological assistance.

SRBC will also offer training to the Pennsylvania Municipal Authorities Association, Pennsylvania Rural Water Association and Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors, along with advanced training to consultants who work with public water systems.

SRBC is a federal-interstate water resource management agency comprised of representatives from the federal government, Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania. One of the commission’s primary functions is to oversee water withdrawals from the Susquehanna River Basin.

The grant is funded by Pennsylvania’s Clean Water Fund, which is supported by fines, fees and penalties.

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Source:  DEP Press Release, 8/27/2012

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