HARRISBURG, Pa., March 21, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Corbett Administration announced today that the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) will begin accepting applications for a program established by the Act 13 Marcellus Legacy Fund to support flood mitigation throughout the state.
"Act 13 reaffirms Governor Corbett's commitment to responsible natural gas development here in Pennsylvania," Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary C. Alan Walker said.
"The CFA has now successfully implemented six of the seven programs created by the Act 13 Marcellus Legacy Fund to provide critical resources to local governments for flood mitigation and environmental conservation projects."
The CFA funding to assist with flood mitigation projects is part of the $14.5 million made available this year to fund seven Marcellus Shale Legacy Fund programs.At its February meeting, the CFA approved guidelines for abandoned mine drainage, abatement and treatment, watershed restoration and protection, water quality data, greenways, trails and recreation, and orphan and abandoned well plugging programs in the state. Act 13, which Governor Corbett signed into law in 2012, authorized counties to impose an impact fee on unconventional natural gas wells. Last year, the fee generated more than $204 million that is benefiting every Pennsylvanian. The majority of the revenues are distributed to local governments where drilling is taking place, with the remainder of the money used for statewide programs or distributed to counties based on population. The flood mitigation guidelines approved today by the CFA will make funding available to: acquire land, rights-of-way, and easements necessary to construct eligible projects. Eligible projects include construction, improvement, expansion, repair or rehabilitation of flood control projects; engineering costs; inspection costs; and permitting fees. The $14.5 million in CFA funding is in addition to $10.9 million in impact fee funding for conservation and recreation programs that has already been distributed to counties, as well as $7.2 million to the state's Growing Greener fund. Applicants can begin applying immediately under the new guidelines for the Act 13 Programs through DCED's electronic single application system. Applications are currently being accepted through July 31, 2013 for consideration at the Nov. 13, 2013 CFA meeting. The programs are administered jointly by the Department of Community and Economic Development, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), and the Department of Environmental Protection, under the direction of the CFA and DCNR.