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Visiting the Indiana County Firemen’s Convention
I was pleased to participate in the recent Indiana County Firemen's Convention. It was truly a great event! Special thanks to the Black Lick Volunteer Fire Company for being the host and allowing me to ride along!
DEP Releases Natural Gas Production Report
Pennsylvania’s natural gas production again increased to record levels last year according to a report recently released by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
According to the DEP’s 2015 Oil and Gas Annual Report, more than 4.6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas were produced in Pennsylvania last year compared to about 1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas produced in 2011. Currently, Pennsylvania is the second largest supplier of natural gas in the nation.
The 2015 Oil and Gas Annual Report provides information about DEP’s oil and gas permitting, inspection and compliance programs. It also details ongoing data trends and outlines significant accomplishments.
Honoring Mahoning Hills Social Center on its 30th Anniversary
Congratulations to the Mahoning Hills Social Center on its 30th anniversary! I really enjoyed meeting with its many patrons and I greatly appreciate all of the work Jim McQuown and his team at Aging Services, Inc. do for our community.
Applications Now Accepted for State Grant, Tax Credit Programs
Applications are now being accepted by the state for financial assistance to support efforts to reduce pollution, improve the quality of Pennsylvania’s watersheds and promote rail transportation.
Energy Efficiency Grants for Small Business
The Small Business Advantage Grant Program through the state Department of Environmental Protection provides a 50 percent matching grant of up to $9,500 toward energy efficiency improvements that trim costs and reduce pollution. Applicants will be considered on a first come, first served basis. Applications will be accepted until fiscal year 2016-17 funds are exhausted or April 14, 2017, whichever occurs first.
Farm Tax Credit Program
A state tax credit program that rewards farmers for taking steps is now open.
The 2016-17 Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) program gives farmers tax credits ranging from 50 to 75 percent -- up to $150,000 per agricultural operation -- as an incentive to purchase conservation equipment and materials to reduce erosion and sedimentation in streams and watersheds.
REAP has awarded more than $50 million in tax credits to 3,900 projects since the program began in 2007. From 2010 to 2014, REAP helped to prevent nearly 1.4 million pounds of nitrogen, 84,000 pounds of phosphorus, and 9,000 tons of sediment from running off into Pennsylvania’s waterways.
Pilot Program to Provide Grants for Tree Planting Along Streams
The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and Environmental Protection is now accepting applications for a pilot grant program to promote the planting of trees along streams in Pennsylvania to improve water quality. Pennsylvania has a goal of planting 95,000 acres of streamside buffers by 2025.
Applications for the DCNR Community Conservation Partnership Program grant roundwill be accepted at https://www.grants.dcnr.state.pa.us/ until September 15.
Rail Freight/Transportation Assistance Programs
PENNDOT is now accepting applications for Rail Transportation Assistance Program (RTAP) grants and Rail Freight Assistance Program (RFAP) grants.
Applications for both programs will be available on the website for PENNDOT’s Bureau of Rail Freight, Ports and Waterways (https://www.dotgrants.state.pa.us/RailFreight/) until August 30. More information can be found at http://www.penndot.gov/Doing-Business/RailFreightAndPorts/Pages/default.aspx .
Pennsylvania ranks first in the country in the number of operating railroads, with 63, and also ranks near the top in total track mileage, with more than 5,600 miles. In the last grant period, PENNDOT awarded $36 million for 15 projects through RTAP and 16 projects through RFAP. RTAP is a capital budget grant program funded with bonds and RFAP is underwritten through the Multimodal Fund, created by Act 89.
Enjoy our local fairs
One of the best parts of summer around here is the opportunity to spend the day at one of our local fairs. I am looking forward to visiting several over the next few weeks, including the Dayton Fair -- http://www.daytonfair.org/ (August 15-20. Tuesday, August 16, is “Don White Day” at the Dayton Fair. See you there!), the Indiana County Fair --http://www.indianacountyfair.com/ (August 27 - September 3), theOx Hill Community Fair -- http://www.oxhillfair.com/index.html (September 5-10) and the Cookport Fair -- http://www.cookportfair.com/home.html (September 11-17). I encourage everyone to come on out with your friends and neighbors and enjoy a local fair.
Mark your calendar
Representatives Donna Oberlander and Jeff Pyle and I will co-host a Senior Expo on Tuesday, August 31, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Kittanning Township Volunteer Fire Department, 13126 State Route 422, Kittanning.
A number of local organizations and businesses, health associations as well as state and federal agencies will be participating in this free event. Representatives will provide information on numerous subjects of interest to older residents including, health care, insurance, nutrition and exercise, fire safety, financial planning and personal safety. Participants will be eligible for door prizes and free refreshments will be provided.
For more information, please call my Kittanning District Office at (724) 543-3026 or toll-free at (866) 366-9448.
286 Main Capitol