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State gets $3M to help clean up the Chesapeake Bay

Written by Tim Lambert and Radio Pennsylvania | Feb 5, 2016 3:12 AM
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Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station, in Londenderry Township near is shown from across the Susquehanna River near York Haven. (AP Photo/John Zeedick)

(Harrisburg) -- Pennsylvania is slated to receive $3 million in federal funding.

The money had been withheld due to the lack of a plan to help clean up the Chesapeake Bay and will be used to help farmers develop plans to manage runoff into local waterways which eventually flow into the bay.

State Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Quigley says the funds were released when his agency announced a comprehensive strategy for improvements throughout the Susquehanna River Basin.

"The money comes from the Department of Environmental Protection. Then, we grant some of that money out to farmers for the installation of on-the-ground, best management practices through the DEP's grant programs," he says. "The bulk of the rest of the funding is directed to the operations of county conservation districts."

The bay gets its largest source of freshwater from the Susquehanna.

The plan includes surveying 30,000 farms in the Chesapeake Bay watershed in Pennsylvania to see what steps they've already taken to reduce runoff.

"We know that a lot of farmers in Pennsylvania have been installing best management practices on their own, but they haven't been getting credit for it," Quigley says. "We want to use this survey to document the good work that is being done by the farming community in Pennsylvania and help us demonstrate that Pennsylvania is doing a better job."

Other steps being taken include increasing inspections to ensure the state remains in compliance with EPA standards.

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