Potential Funding Sources for OM&R

Compiled by Curt Pieper, DEP


AML Funding Sources Through DEP


Title IV: Moneys under Title IV may be used for the reclamation and restoration of land and water resources adversely affected by past coal mining.  Currently, DEP has five open Title IV grants totaling over $141M.  Of that amount, all funds are committed.


10% Setaside Funds: Title IV of the Federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act authorizes grantees to set aside up to 10% of its annual grant for acid mine drainage abatement and treatment.  Because of the likelihood of a lower than normal grant in 2007, DEP is to not funding the 10% Set Aside Program.  Also, since 2003, budget shortfalls have required the costs of operating the Commonwealth’s AMD treatment plants to be paid from this funding source.


PA Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act: PA SMCRA was passed in 1945 as the Bituminous Coal Open Pit Mining Reclamation Fund.  Act 1971-147 changed the name.  This funding source is commonly called the 20 Fund. 


Sources of income include:

1. Permit fees and annual license fees charged to surface mining operators who mine coal or other minerals.  Permit fees are deposited in the Clean Water Fund.

2.  Fines on operators who fail to apply for and receive an operator's license or mining permit before beginning operations, and who violate any provision of the Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act, any rule, regulation, or order of the Department, or an condition of any permit.

3.  Civil penalties collected for damage to the lands and waters of the Commonwealth, as well as from the forfeiture of bonds or collateral as a result of an operator's failure to comply with the requirements of the Act.

4.  Costs recovered under the Clean Streams Law and from interest earned on the investment of fund monies.


The funds are designated for the primary objective of reclaiming forfeited sites. 

If physically possible, reasonable and necessary, monies received from the forfeiture of bonds and collateral are to be used for restoration of the area affected by the operation upon which liability was charged on the bond.  If the Department determines such restoration to be impossible, unreasonable, or unnecessary, then the forfeited funds may be used for revegetation or reclaiming other lands affected by surface mining.  Interest earnings, fees and penalties are also committed to these activities.  These funds are committed to their original sites or to other sites with significant reclamation problems.


EPA 319 Nonpoint Source Implementation Grant Program:  This program provides funding to assist Pennsylvania in implementing its Nonpoint Source Management Program. This includes funding for abandoned mine drainage, agricultural and urban run-off, and natural channel design / streambank stabilization projects, and for development of watershed-based restoration plans.  Funding is awarded in the form of grants on a competitive basis, with requests usually exceeding available funds.

Growing Greener I: The total dollar commitment to the Growing Greener Program was recently doubled from $645 million to $1.3 billion and extended through 2012.  DEP's portion of Growing Greener has more than doubled to $547.7 million over the newly extended life of the program.  DEP is authorized to allocate these funds in grants for watershed restoration and protection, abandoned mine reclamation, and abandoned oil and gas well plugging projects.  The funds available in the Environmental Stewardship Fund for watershed restoration and protection have been fully committed every year since the program began.


Growing Greener II: Growing Greener II is a voter-approved plan that invests $625 million to clean up rivers and streams; protect natural areas, open spaces and working farms; and shore up key programs to improve quality of life and revitalize communities across the Commonwealth.  Growing Greener II provides $230 million to DEP to clean up rivers and streams; take on serious environmental problems at abandoned mines and contaminated industrial sites; and finance the development and deployment of advanced energy projects.


$230 million was allocated to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to clean up rivers and streams; take on serious environmental problems at abandoned mines and contaminated industrial sites; and finance the development and deployment of advanced energy projects.  Of that amount, at least $60M is to be spent on acid mine drainage abatement and mine cleanup efforts.  That amount has already been fully committed to projects.



DEP Special Funds:

Land and Water Conservation and Reclamation Act (Operation Scarlift), Act 1967-443: The fund was established in 1968.  Revenue is derived from the sale of Land and Water Development Bonds, from federal augmentations, and from other miscellaneous sources.  As authorized by constitutional amendment adopted May 16, 1967, bond proceeds are not to exceed $500 million.  As of December 31, 1994, $499.7 million in bonds had been issued.  All interest and investment earnings from this fund are deposited into the Land and Water Development Sinking Fund.


Fund monies are to be used by the Department of Environmental Protection to reclaim land and water scarred by past mining practices and to develop that land and water for conservation, recreation, and historical purposes. Funds may also be used for administrative expenses associated with these activities, and to provide funding under certain conditions for emergency abatement of hazards resulting from abandoned mines.


Noncoal Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Fund: Section 17 of the Noncoal Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act established the fund.  Current revenue sources include license fees and permit fees charged to commercial noncoal surface mining operations, fines and penalties.  Monies are also received from costs recovered under the Clean Streams Law and from interest earned on the investment of fund monies; forfeiture of collateral bonds, cash deposits, or securities for failure to comply with an approved reclamation plan.


Balances in the fund are distributed among several appropriations.  All of the balances are designated primarily for the same objective of reclaiming forfeited sites.  However, the appropriations differentiate among funds received from different sources.  The appropriations are the repository for miscellaneous income items, such as all interest earnings, fees, and penalties; for the proceeds from bond forfeitures, where the funds must be kept with the site forfeited; and the for the Payment-in-lieu program.  Reclamation of noncoal sites are funded from this source.


Bituminous Mine Subsidence and Land Conservation Fund: The Bituminous Mine Subsidence & Land Conservation Act established this fund.  Monies deposited to the fund are used for the protection of the health, safety and general welfare of the people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and specifically for the conservation of the surface land areas that may be affected by deep mining of bituminous coal.


Coal Refuse Disposal Fund: All fines, civil penalties, bond forfeitures and fees collected under this Act shall be used for the elimination of pollution, the abatement of health and safety hazards and nuisances and such other purposes as are necessary to implement the provisions of the Act pursuant to the rules and regulations adopted by the Environmental Quality Board.  No personnel costs are paid from this fund.



Funding Sources Outside of DEP


Other State Agencies Receiving Funding Under Growing Greener I:


PA Department of Agriculture: to administer farmland preservation projects.


PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources: for state park renovations and improvements.


Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority: for water and sewer system upgrades.



Other State Agencies Receiving Funding Under Growing Greener II:


PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources: Allocated $217.5M to preserve natural areas and open spaces; improve state parks; and enhance local recreational needs.

PA Fish and Boat Commission: Allocated $27.5M to repair fish hatcheries and aging dams.

PA Game Commission: Allocated $20M for habitat-related facility upgrades and repairs.

PA Department of Community and Economic Development: Allocated $50M to revitalize communities through investments in housing and mixed-use redevelopment projects.

PA Department of Agriculture: Allocated $80M to protect working farms.



Other Federal Funding Sources


U. S. Department of Agriculture - NRCS – PL 566: The Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act (PL 83-566), August 4, 1954, as amended, authorized NRCS to cooperate with States and local agencies to carry out works of improvement for soil conservation and for other purposes including flood prevention; conservation, development, utilization and disposal of water; and conservation and proper utilization of land.


NRCS implements the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act through three programs: Watershed Surveys and Planning, Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Operations, and Watershed Rehabilitation.  Under Watershed Operations, the NRCS provides assistance to sponsoring local organizations of authorized watershed projects, planned and approved under the authority of the Act.  NRCS provides technical and financial assistance to implement authorized watershed project plans for the purpose of watershed protection; flood mitigation; water quality improvements; soil erosion reduction; rural, municipal and industrial water supply; irrigation water management; sediment control; fish and wildlife enhancement; and wetlands and wetland function creation and restoration.


Eligibility criteria for authorized watershed projects include Public sponsorship, watershed projects up to 250,000 acres, benefits that are directly related to agriculture, including rural communities that are at least 20 percent of the total benefits of the project. 


Watershed Operations provides technical and financial assistance in authorized watershed projects which have public sponsors who conduct public meetings to assure local involvement, obtain all land and water rights and permits required for the installation of works of improvement, provide local share of funds to install works of improvement, and operate and maintain works of improvement.


Watershed Operations funds that may be available for watershed projects are subject to the following annual Congressional appropriations, state and national resource priorities, acquisition of land and water rights, permits, local funding established for specific project measures, completion of structural, agronomic, and vegetative designs for project measures, NRCS and the project sponsor approval of an Operation and Maintenance Agreement involving the measures to be installed.


U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (USCOE): The Army Corps of Engineers carries out environmental and natural resource management programs at its projects, managing thousands of square miles as forest and wildlife habitat, monitoring water quality at its dams, operating fish hatcheries in cooperation with State wildlife agencies, and in some cases restoring the environment at projects in cooperation with state and local agencies and organizations.  Environmental stewardship includes compliance measures to ensure that our projects must meet Federal, state, and local environmental requirements. Prevention, meanwhile, focuses on eliminating pollution to the greatest extent possible.  Working toward a national goal of "no net loss of wetlands," the Civil Works program is undertaking projects to restore existing wetlands, or to create new ones. 



Other EPA Funding Sources and Programs:


FY 2006 and 2007 Targeted Watersheds Implementation Grant Program: The Targeted Watersheds Implementation Grant Program is a competitive grant program designed to support the protection and restoration of the country's water resources through a holistic watershed approach to water quality management.  EPA will award approximately 9 to 20 grants or cooperative agreements for restoration and/or protection efforts. Anticipated awards will range from approximately $600,000 to $900,000 each and have a project period of three to five years.


DEP is in the process of submitting a grant application under this announcement for the Hollywood/Tyler AMD Treatment Facility in the Bennett Branch Watershed.



Water Pollution Control: 25 Years of Progress and Challenges for the New Millennium: Congress responded to the public outrage over the deplorable condition of the nation's water by enacting the Clean Water Act.


National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES): The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit program controls water pollution by regulating point sources that discharge pollutants into waters of the United States.

Total Maximum Daily Loads:
This page provides information on EPA's Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Program under Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act (CWA).

Water Supply and Water Resources:
Helps prepare the primary and secondary regulations for drinking water and to develop technologies and strategies for controlling waterborne contaminants.


Other Non-Governmental Sources of Funding:


Private Foundations, Conservancies and Other Non-profit Organizations


For-profit Corporations


Private Individuals