DUBOIS – The Headwaters Charitable Trust (HCT) has announced that Shell Appalachia has chosen to support Headwaters acid rain remediation projects with a $25,000 donation through the Headwaters Conservation Partnership.
The HCT was awarded two Growing Greener grants in February from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). This provided a total of $354,000 for work in the field of acid rain remediation in the Clarion River watershed using innovative treatment and remediation approaches.
The Headwaters region experiences some of the highest negative impacts from acid rain in the United States. The remediation efforts will provide water quality improvements that are expected to bring lasting benefits ranging from improved trout fishing to positive impacts on drinking water quality.
The Clarion River Headwaters project will assess, identify and develop remediation plans for the acid rain impacts in the upper Clarion River tributaries, and will lead to a series of construction remediation projects. The Smith Run Project, located in the Clarion Headwaters, is a specific acid rain remediation construction project that will be implemented in that tributary to help in the restoration of downstream waters in the Clarion River watershed.
Matching funds of $65,000 were required to move forward with the projects. Headwaters Executive Director Janie French stated, “Matching funds often make or break a project, and we appreciate that corporations active in our region are stepping up to assist us in this major effort”.
The benefits of this work go beyond just making the places where people live and work healthier and more productive. As Jon Rockey, HCT chairman explained, “Nearly every project dollar is spent within our region, creating a significant economic impact that supports business and jobs as well, through local engineering companies, construction firms and companies that supply project materials. Everyone wins when we work to conserve our natural resources”.
Frank Jeanson of the Shell Exploration and Production division explained that when Shell Appalachia embarks on operations in an area, they do so with a clear oil and gas business objective. “But as we state on our Web site, we also have two other goals – to protect the environment and to create a positive presence in the community. The Headwaters Charitable Trust has a robust record of successfully implementing valuable conservation projects in partnership with government agencies and foundations.
“Their acid rain remediation projects provided Shell with an opportunity to support an effort that will have a significant quantifiable impact on water quality in Pennsylvania. Waterways are community connectors, and our offices in Warrendale Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh are not far from the Allegheny River, of which the Clarion is a major tributary. We can say that happens in Elk County does not just stay in Elk County. Everyone benefits downstream.”
Other HCP partners on the acid rain projects include Williams, Atlas Resources, the EADS Group and Gannett Fleming Inc. While Headwaters is close to meeting their matching funds requirement, additional donations are still needed. The Headwaters Charitable Trust provides opportunities for corporations, small businesses and individuals to help fund important regional conservation efforts through the Headwaters Conservation Partnership.
More information is available on the Headwaters Web site www.headwaterspa.org.