Western Pennsylvania Coalition
for Abandoned Mine Reclamation
QUICK Response Emergency repair Funding
Quick Response for Funding Emergency Repairs (Sponsored in part by Dominion and The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy)
The Quick Response program provides funding for emergency repairs for Growing Greener eligible water restoration projects which includes passive treatment systems. For several years, those of us working with Abandoned Mine Drainage (AMD) passive treatment systems have recognized the growing need for system maintenance and the difficulty in obtaining funding for that activity. Application directly through the Growing Greener program had been a way to secure funding for repairs. However, a grant award is not a certainty, plus the process requires lengthy time spans and is usually inadequate for emergency situations. WPCAMR, DEP, and others recognized that there had to be a better way to provide funding for, at the very least, emergency repairs.
Work by the Operation, Maintenance, and Repair (OM&R) Workgroup, an ad hoc group of experts and practioners in AMD remediation, resulted in a better idea of the costs for OM&R for passive treatment systems. Armed with that information, DEP issued a request for proposals (RFP) in 2005, for the administration of an emergency response program, but ultimately did not fund the program at that time. WPCAMR successfully made application to Growing Greener in 2006 to create a “Quick Response” program (largely based on the RFP of the previous year) with a grant award of $350,000. The program is really a cooperative effort between DEP and WPCAMR. DEP provides the funding and WPCAMR provides the fiscal agility to quickly get funds to where they’re needed.
Additional funding for Quick Response program was provided by a Dominion Watershed Mini-grant. Financial support for this project is provided by the Dominion Foundation which is dedicated to the economic, physical, and social health of the communities served by Dominion companies. The Dominion Watershed Mini-grant is administered by the Western Pennskylvania Conservancy in commitment to its core mission of conserving Pennsylvania's diverse ecosystems through science-based strategy, leadership, and collaboration.
Here’s how the program works:
1. A potential applicant in need of emergency repair funding contacts their local DEP Watershed Manager with information of the problem. That Watershed Manager then does a site visit to make an initial assessment of the problem and eligibility. One or more cost estimates are obtained, and a formal application is made. [Download Quick Response Application Form]
2. The application is evaluated within DEP, followed by approval or denial of the application.
3. The application is then passed to WPCAMR, whereby the applicant is given formal notification of the decison from the approval process, and if successful, will be given the authorization to proceed with repairs, along with the maximum reimbursable funding amount.
4. Once authorized to proceed, the applicant has 90 days to complete the repairs.
5. When the repairs are completed, the Watershed Manager is notified by the applicant, which will trigger an inspection of work performed. Following a satisfactory inspection, all of the necessary paperwork including receipts and other supporting documents are then sent to WPCAMR with a request for reimbursement.
6. WPCAMR issues a reimbursement check to the applicant (or designee).
So, how quick is quick? The time from the initial request to the time of authorization to proceed with work can literally be only a few days, depending on the urgency of the situation. The reimbursement time can be anywhere from as little as a week to as much as several months. The actual reimbursement time depends on a variety of factors, principal among those are the number of quick response requests WPCAMR receives at any given time and the cost of each reimbursable project.
Recognizing the value of the program, WPCAMR intends to again apply for additional Quick Response funding in the current round of Growing Greener Grants due May 16th.
To discuss eligibility for Quick Response funding, contact your local DEP Watershed Manager or District Mining Office Watershed Manager:
DEP REGIONAL WATERSHED MANAGERS:
Northwest Regional Office, 230 Chestnut St., Meadville, PA 16335-3481
Northcentral Regional Office, 208 W. Third St., Suite 101, Williamsport, PA 17701-6448
Northeast Regional Office, 2 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18711-0790
Southwest Regional Office, 400 Waterfront Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15222-4745
Southcentral Regional Office, 909 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-8200
Southeast Regional Office, Two East Main Street, Norristown, PA 19401
DISTRICT MINING OFFICE CONTACTS:
Pottsville District Mining Office
Cambria District Mining Office
Greensburg District Mining Office
Moshannon District Office
Knox District Mining Office (Watershed Manager, Chris Yeakle)
Participants in the Quick Response Program
226 Donohoe Rd, Suite 110, Greensburg, Pennsylvania 15601
© Western Pennsylvania Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation