DEP to Begin Accepting Advantage Grant Applications

HOUTZDALE – State Rep. Camille “Bud” George, D-74 of Clearfield County, encouraged eligible parties to apply for grants under the state Department of Environmental Protection’s Advantage Grant Program.

“Eligible businesses can receive a 50 percent reimbursement grant for projects, up to $7,500 total,” George said.  “Projects must promote pollution prevention and energy efficiency and reduce costs by 25 percent and $1,000 annually.”

Applications will be accepted starting July 25.  The application process contains several extensive components and funds are limited.  More information can be found on the DEP’s website, http://www.depweb.state.pa.us/ and by clicking on the “Grants & Loans” tab.  Questions can be emailed to epadvantagegrant@state.pa.us.

“I encourage businesses to take advantage of this program and not delay in applying if interested,” George said.

George also noted that the DEP has recently awarded a contract to John and Justin Welker for a mine-reclamation project located about one mile northwest of Pleasant Hill, off of old State Route 322.

The Welkers will reclaim 7.5-acres of abandoned mine land that has experienced extensive deep mine subsidence at no cost to taxpayers.  The firm will recover about 5,800 tons of remaining coal, valued at roughly $80,000.  Another 945 feet of abandoned highwall will be reclaimed.

At least 2,700 tons of alkaline material will be applied to the site, and re-grading will restore the site close to its original contours. 

The Moshannon District Office of the state DEP, which awarded the contract, said the mine was abandoned in the early 1950s.  Blasting has been approved at the site, but refuse processing is prohibited.

“Projects like these help reduce acid mine drainage and restore our lands to pre-mining conditions,” George said.

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