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January 2002
Water Policy News
Newsletter of the Water Resources Education Network

In this Issue

WREN Grant Funding Available for 2002-2003 Water Resources Education Projects

Who: Coalitions (two or more partners) of local or regional organizations such as civic groups, governmental entities (including municipal authorities), and other public interest organizations.

What: Projects that educate the community and build community awareness of how to protect and improve its drinking water source waters or its watershed. Projects should include activities that enhance cooperation between citizens and municipal officials and private organizations.

Grant award: up to $5,000 for each project.

When: Proposals accepted until 4:00 pm, Wednesday, April 3, 2002. Successful proposals announced by May 15, 2002; Funding covers activities during July 1, 2002 through June 30, 2003.

Other: Successful projects must send at least one member to the June 13 & 14, 2002 Orientation Meeting in Boiling Springs, Cumberland Co. PA. Objective: to network with other projects and to learn about resources available. There is no cost to the applicant to attend.

You can access the full copy of the Grant Application Package on this site, please call 800 692-7281 or email WREN at info@palwv.org.

WREN Projects Educate Community Residents

PA CleanWays of Lawrence County
On November 17, 2001, volunteers for this Lawrence County project turned out for four hours to cleanup the Hawthorne Road "dump site". The Hawthorne Road site was selected for clean-up because a small stream flows through the site and empties into the Beaver River, the drinking water source for numerous communities. The cleanup day was the initial step for a Placemat Contest.

A video of the morning clean up will be used to show the direct relationship between illegally dumped trash and our drinking water. For the placemat contest, interested young people must view the video and then create a drawing emphasizing drinking water protection. The winner will receive a $100 savings bond and their original art will appear on placemats distributed to Lawrence County restaurants. Information regarding the effects of illegally dumping trash in our waterways, water conservation efforts and the proper management of household hazardous waste will also appear on the place mats.

For additional information on this project contact Jerry Zona at 724-654-2129.

South Middleton Bubbler Foundation
Four workshops were held during October and November focusing on the source of the community's drinking water, how to protect drinking water, what critters can tell us about water quality and a tour of the South Middleton Municipality Water/Sewer Authority Plant. The tour began with the well-head and ended with the final discharge of purified sewage into Yellow Breeches Creek and how the remaining solid wastes are decomposed naturally using tall plants.

Additional components of the project include training teachers to use groundwater simulators and Enviroscapes for classroom demonstration and developing a Citizen Volunteer Monitoring program to examine stream health.

For more information about this project contact Teresa Shakespeare at 717-243-7954.

Delaware River Greenway
On Thursday, May 30, 2002, approximately 400 students and residents of the Delaware River Greenway will be found along the banks of the Delaware River from Trenton to as far north as Easton. Cleanup of both sides of the river, islands and bottom, for almost 55 miles, will be the focus of the fifth annual Project River Bright.

On December 14, Project River Bright was honored at the Delaware River Greenway Partnership's 12th Annual Forum for its successful work to preserve and enhance the Delaware River for enjoyment by everyone.

For more information on this project contact Carrie Martin at 215-862-4385.

Groundwater Foundation Honors Washington County's Joan Jessen, Recognizes 10 Pennsylvania Communities

Long time water advocate, Joan Jessen, of McMurray, Washington County was recognized at the 2001 Groundwater Foundation conference, held this year in Pittsburgh, November 14-16. Joan is the founder of the Washington County Groundwater Coalition and was instrumental in that group's transformation into the Washington County Watershed Alliance.

The Groundwater Coalition hosted the first Children's Groundwater Festival in Pennsylvania, im 1995, and this year will sponsor its seventh annual Festival. The Watershed Alliance, the first of its type in Pennsylvania, has sponsored projects leading to the formation of eight watershed associations in Washington County.

The activities that the groups have undertaken to promote understanding of water resources are awe-inspiring, including visiting every classroom of the 1200 sixth graders who attend the Festival each year to introduce them to some of the water concepts they'll learn more about later; offering home water testing; mounting displays at malls and fairs, producing brochures, pamphlets, vidoes and newsletters; and organizing watershed bus tours. Joan received the Edith Stevens Groundwater Educator Award, named for the first recipient of the award, WREN Team Member, Edith Stevens.

Pennsylvania Groundwater Guardian Communities
Congratulations to ten Pennsylvania communities who were awarded the Foundation's annual "Groundwater Guardian" designation for their activites to protect their water resources.

They include: Allegheny County; Aultman Run Watershed in Indiana County; Carbon County, Kutztown Borough in Berks County; Lebanon County, Mars Area School District in Butler County; Villages of Number Five Mine and London in Mercer County, Shrewsbury Borough in York County, Telford Borough in Montgomery County, and Washington County.

The PA Rural Water Association and WREN received recognition as "Groundwater Guardian Affiliates."

Policy Corner

Water Resources Legislation Introduced
Bills have been introduced in both the House and Senate to further the water management goals that came out of the Water Forums sponsored by PA DEP across the state last spring. HB2230 and SB1230 provide for updating the State Water Plan, including identifying critical water planning areas, water well construction standards, a water conservation program and registration of water withdrawals over 10,000 gallons per day to collect better data on water use. The bills are supported by DEP and are expected to get a lot of attention in the coming months.

For more information on the issues surrounding water resources management in PA, contact the WREN Resource Center (1-800-692-7281) and request the publication, Water Use and Water Rights in Pennsylvania. Pub#9804

New Comprehensive Storm-water Management Policy
PA DEP is proposing to update its stormwater management program using existing authority, by encouraging, and sometimes requiring, minimization and infiltration of stormwater flows in order to reduce pollutant loadings to streams, recharge groundwater and enhance stream base flow. New and revised county Stormwater Management Plans, required by the existing Stormwater Management Act (Act 167), will include these water quality and quantity protections with implementation up to municipalities.

The new policy is another recommendation coming from the Water Forums held this spring. Forum participants urged that stormwater be considered a resource. Comments on the Policy will be accepted until Jan 28.

For a copy of the policy, contact Kimberly Chism, 717-787-5267, kchism@state.pa.us, or online, www.dep.state.pa.us (directLINK "Comprehensive Stormwater Policy)

Resources

Groundwater, Pennsylvania's Cool Resource
(PA Dept of Environmental Protection, 2001, 27 pp)
Information and educational demonstrations relating to groundwater for teachers and students in grades 9-12.
Available from Trudy Troutman, 717-783-3795, ttroutman@state.pa.us

How to Form Your Own Watershed Organization
A FactPack from PA Organization of Watersheds and Rivers, includes a booklet, resource list and a 20 minute video. Available for $16 from POWR, 717-234-7910 or order online at http://www.pawatersheds.org/resources/factpacks.htm

State of the Bay 2001
(Chesapeake Bay Foundation, 2001, 6 pp)
Outlines the current environmental status of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Available from CBF, jhood@savethebay.cbf.org, 888-savebay or online at www.cbf.org

Protecting and Restoring America's Watersheds: Status, Trends and Initiatives in Watershed Management
(US EPA Office of Water, 2001)
Examines successful watershed approaches and provides recommended actions for policy makers and watershed groups.
Available online at www.epa.gov/owow/protecting

Working in Urban Watersheds: Industry Analyses
(Sustainable Conservation, 2000, 50 pp)
Describes the environmental impact of urban watershed pollution and automotive recycling in particular.
Available from Sustainable Conservation, 415-977-0308 or online at www.suscon.org

Agricultural Pesticides: Management Improvements Needed to Further Promote Integrated Pest Management,
(General Accounting Office, 2001, 36 pp.)
Reports that pesticide use has risen despite USDA's commitment to integrated pest management. The IPM program has serious management problems.
Available from GAO, 202-512-6000, Report number GAO-01-815, or online at http://www.gao.gov

Environmental Indicators of Water Quality in the U. S.
(US EPA Office of Water, 2001, 28 pp.)
Describes the nation's water resources, human activities, and natural events, as well as their impact on water quality and trends over time.
Available free from the National Small Flows Clearinghouse. shipping charges apply. Call NSFC at 800-624-8301 or 304-293-4191, and request item #GNBLGN13. , email, nsfc_orders@mail.nesc.wvu.edu.

Guide to Developing a Source Water Protection Plan
(PA DEP, 2002) Contact Jen Bandura, 717-772-4044, jbandura@state.pa.us

Web site to Bookmark
www.stormwatercenter.net
a Resource Center for Stormwater Managers sponsored by The Center for Watershed Protection, provides technical assistance on stormwater management issues which can be downloaded at no cost.

Christiana Borough Wins Source Water Protection Award

Congratulations to Christiana Borough in Lancaster County which received US EPA Region III's first Source Water Protection Award.
The Christiana Borough Authority, which manages the water system for the Borough, has promoted source water protection in many ways. The Authority purchased a farm where their wells are located and now can protect the surrounding area. After determining their wellhead protection areas (WHPA), the Authority performed a contaminant inventory by meeting with all property owners within the WHPA and providing them information on the importance of protecting their sources of drinking water. Borough officials met with farmers in the area on best management practices and gave them suggestions on how to use natural fertilizers when applicable. The Authority posted signs throughout their WHPA alerting travelers about the presence of the protection area and how to notify emergency personnel if a contamination event should occur. Christiana Borough works with adjacent municipalities, including Lancaster County, on land use planning and its effect on drinking water sources.

"We know that the health of our community depends upon clean drinking water so we are committed to protecting the sources," explains Borough Manager LaVerne D. Rettew.

EPA Region III established the annual awards program in 2001 to recognize communities that are taking steps to protect their drinking water sources. For information on how to apply, or nominate someone, for the 2002 award, please contact PA DEP, Joe Lee, joslee@state.pa.us or Pat Bowling, pbowling@state.pa.us , or Steven Maslowski at EPA Region III, maslowski.steven@epa.gov. To contact Christiana Borough, call Evan Fields, 610-593-5199.

This newsletter is a project of the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania Citizen Education Fund - WREN.   Funded by a grant from the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection

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