PA Receives More Than $7 Million for Natural Disaster Recovery
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist Craig Derickson announced that Pennsylvania will receive an additional $7.2 million to help with natural disaster recovery efforts throughout the state. This funding will be used to help restore streams whose natural flows were disrupted by the June 2006 flooding. It will enable NRCS to assist local government entities in removing debris from streams and stabilizing severely eroding stream banks that threaten homes, businesses, and utilities.
There are 18 counties reporting storm damage. Those hardest hit are Bradford, Lackawanna, Susquehanna, Wayne, Columbia, Wyoming, and Luzerne.
“These funds will provide critical assistance to Pennsylvania residents and continue the federal partnership for environmental restoration projects on private lands damaged by natural disaster,” Derickson said.
The funding is being made available through the NRCS Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) Program. Through EWP, NRCS will provide up to 75 percent of the funds needed to restore the natural function of a watershed and up to 90 percent in limited resource areas damaged by the flooding. The community or local sponsor for the work must pay the remaining cost-share, which can be provided by cash and/or in-kind services. EWP assists with the implementation of critical emergency measures such as removal of debris from streams, protecting destabilized stream banks, and establishing cover on critically eroding lands needed to relieve the imminent hazards to life and property created by natural disaster. All measures taken must be environmentally and economically sound and generally benefit more than one property owner. NRCS and Conservation District employees will be in the field assessing potential projects in January and February.
NRCS provides products and services that enable people to be good stewards of the nation’s soil, water, and related natural resources on non-Federal lands. Additional information about EWP and other USDA conservation programs is available at USDA Service Centers nationwide and online at: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/ewp/ .