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Boscola Bulletin

Apply Today for the 2020 Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence

Apply Today for the 2020 Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence With the aim of showcasing the best of the best among Pennsylvania’s environmental stewards, all Pennsylvanians who’ve recently worked on successful environmental projects are encouraged to apply for the 2020 Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence, the state’s top environmental honor. 

The Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence are open to all individuals, whether they led or participated in a project, and to all schools, nonprofit organizations, businesses, farms, and government agencies. People may also nominate an individual or organization by applying on their behalf. 

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) oversees the award selection process, evaluating projects on seven criteria: degree of environmental protection, climate change, sustainability, partnership, economic impact, innovation, and environmental education and outreach. Projects do not have to meet all criteria to merit an award and may be nonprofit or for-profit.
Projects must have been completed before October 15, 2019, to be eligible. Past winners may submit applications for new projects, but projects that have previously received an Environmental Excellence Award aren’t eligible. 

The deadline for application submission is December 17, 2019, at 5:00 PM. Guidelines may be found on the application web page.

In 2019, one individual and 17 organizations, businesses, and local governments received awards. Their projects produced environmental workforce training, mobile renewable energy workshops, energy-saving LED light installation, natural gas fueling stations, cleaned-up coastlines, stormwater retrofitting videos, conservation farming, creek restorations, and other positive outcomes for Pennsylvania.

Small Business Advantage Grant

Encouraging businesses to embrace alternative energy projects helps clean our air, reduce greenhouses gases, and give small business owners a sense of satisfaction - DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnellThe Small Business Advantage Grant provides 50% matching grants, up to a maximum of $7,000 to enable Pennsylvania small businesses to purchase energy efficient or pollution prevention equipment or adopt waste reduction processes.

Pennsylvania-based businesses with 100 or fewer full-time employees are eligible. Eligible applications are considered on a first-come, first-served basis, and must save the small business a minimum of $500 and at least 25% annually in energy consumption or pollution prevention related expenses (Natural Resource Protection projects are exempt).

An overview of the program, eligibility requirements and application instructions are included in the Small Business Advantage Grant Package available here.

PennDOT Accepting Applications for Multimodal Grants

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced that applications will be accepted to fund improvement projects that will enhance Pennsylvania roadways, bridges, transit facilities, park and ride facilities, sidewalk, crosswalk safety improvements, bicycle lanes and route designations under the Multimodal Transportation Fund (MTF) through November 8, 2019.

PennDOTEligible applicants include municipalities, council of governments, business/non-profit organizations, economic development organizations, public transportation agencies, public airports, airport authorities, and ports and rail entities. Projects that will be considered should coordinate local land use with transportation assets to enhance existing communities.

Act 89 established a dedicated Multimodal Transportation Fund that stabilizes funding for ports and rail freight, increases aviation investments, establishes dedicated funding for bicycle and pedestrian improvements and allows targeted funding for priority investments in any mode.

PennDOT will evaluate the applications and make selections based on safety benefits, regional economic conditions, technical and financial feasibility, job creation, energy efficiency, and operational sustainability. PennDOT expects to announce grant recipients next year and funding will become available in July 2020.

For more information about the program and previous years’ applications and awards, visit www.penndot.gov and click on Multimodal Program under the “Projects & Programs” menu.

Resource Enhancement & Protection Program (REAP) - Application Period Now Open

Department of AgricultureThe Department of Agriculture is pleased to announce the availability of $13 million in Pennsylvania tax credits for on-farm conservation efforts.  Pennsylvania’s Farm Bill has enhanced the Commonwealth’s nationally-recognized Resource Enhancement and Protection Program (REAP) tremendously.

REAP is a Pennsylvania tax credit program for agricultural producers who implement best management practices or purchase equipment that reduces the amount of nutrient and sediment runoff and improves the quality of Pennsylvania’s waters. This is the 12th year Pennsylvania farmers have been able to take advantage of REAP tax credits. As a result of the PA Farm Bill, this year funding has increased to $13 million, up from $10 million. In addition, farmers may now receive up to $250,000 in any seven-year period, and spouses filling jointly can use REAP Tax Credits. 

REAP applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. The basic eligibility requirements are that producers must be in compliance with the PA Clean Streams Law and the Pennsylvania Nutrient and Odor Management Law.

The 2019-20 REAP application packet, as well as other information about REAP, is available on the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s website, agriculture.pa.gov

Since you were such a vital partner throughout the PA Farm Bill process, we wanted to pass this information along to you to share with your constituency, members, and networks. 

'Innovations Challenge' Invites Students to Develop Technologies, Solutions to Combat Roadway Litter

Students in grades 9-12 are invited to participate in the third PennDOT Innovations Challenge which encourages students to use their problem-solving, creative and strategic-thinking abilities to solve real-world transportation challenges in a competition among their peers.

Innovations ChallengeThis year's Innovations Challenge asks students to look at cost-effective technologies and innovative solutions - aside from laws, programs and educational campaigns - that can be developed in the next five to 10 years to help PennDOT more efficiently, effectively and safely control litter along roadways.
Last year, PennDOT spent nearly $13 million cleaning up roadside litter across Pennsylvania. In addition, nearly 5,000 volunteers spend countless hours participating in the Adopt-A-Highway program each year. These dollars and volunteer hours could have otherwise been spent on delivering a better transportation network and making Pennsylvania a better state in which to live.   

PennDOT & DEP officials would like to stress that they are very grateful for the selfless actions of our thousands of Adopt-A-Highway volunteers, they are still looking for ways to curb the amount of roadside litter across Pennsylvania and challenging students can develop a long-term, sustainable solution to address this ongoing problem.

The Innovations Challenge aims to not only help students explore real transportation challenges that PennDOT is facing, but also open their minds to the very real possibility of working for PennDOT after graduation, as well.

Regional Innovations Challenge winners will be selected and invited to compete in Harrisburg for the state championship. This year, the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) and the Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful (KPB) organization are providing a combined total award of $3,000 to be divided among the first, second and third place statewide winning teams. 

For complete Innovations Challenge details, visit www.penndot.gov/innovation. The deadline for submissions is December 20, 2019.

Statewide Video Competition Challenges Students to Share Ideas on Farming

“Talk to Your State Senator” statewide video competition challengesPennsylvania has a rich heritage of farming that dates back centuries, and agriculture remains the state’s top industry today. However, that heritage is threatened by difficult market conditions and an aging population of farmers. For every four farmers in Pennsylvania over the age of 65, there is only one farmer under the age of 35.

The third annual “Talk to Your State Senator” statewide video competition challenges middle and high school students to share their ideas about how Pennsylvania can reverse these trends and ensure the agriculture industry will have a bright future in our Commonwealth.

The contest, which is sponsored by the Senate of Pennsylvania and Rutter’s, is open to Pennsylvania students in grades 6 through 12, including all public school, private school and home school students. Participants are encouraged to submit video entries of no longer than three minutes that promote the future of farming in Pennsylvania.

A total of $10,000 in prizes will be awarded through the PA 529 college savings program administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Treasury. Contest entries must be submitted by January 31, 2020.

More information on the contest is available online at www.legis.state.pa.us/talk-to-your-state-senator/.

Pennsylvania Farm Bill – Dairy Investment Grant Program

Pennsylvania Farm Bill – Dairy Investment Grant ProgramThe Pennsylvania Dairy Investment Program was established under Act 38 of 2019 for research and development, organic transition, value-added processing, and marketing grants in support of Pennsylvania’s Dairy Industry. The program is administered jointly by the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and the PA Department of Agriculture (PDA), under the direction of the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) and is accepting applications through November 15, 2019.  Grants are available under the program and require a 15% cash match. The maximum grant award is limited for each of the four project categories - Activities for research and development, organic transition, value-added processing, and marketing in support of Pennsylvania’s Dairy Industry. Those eligible to apply are: businesses, not-for-profits, schools, and institutions of higher learning.

Program guidelines can be found HERE.

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Offices of State Senator Lisa M. Boscola

www.senatorboscola.com

BETHLEHEM OFFICE
One East Broad Street
Suite 120
Bethlehem, PA 18018
(610) 868-8667
Fax: (610) 861-2184
Toll-free: 1-877-535-1818
EASTON OFFICE
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Senate of PA:
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