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Municipalities apply for grant funding resulting from Sunoco Pipeline fines

SOUTH LONDONDERRY TOWNSHIP, LEBANON COUNTY— In February, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection collected $12.6 million in penalties resu...

SOUTH LONDONDERRY TOWNSHIP, LEBANON COUNTY--- In February, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection collected $12.6 million in penalties resulting from permit violations against construction on the Sunoco Mariner II East pipeline.

Now, the DEP is looking to give back to municipalities in the pipeline's path.

85 municipalities, spanning from Washington to Delaware counties, have the chance to receive some of that money.

Jenna Seesholtz, manager of South Londonderry Township, said they were informed about two months ago that they would qualify to apply for grant funding.

"Right now, we're working with our township engineer, Rettew Engineering, to identify a project that would meet all the requirements for the grant," said Seesholtz.

She said the requirements include projects improving water quality to enhancing community and recreation opportunities.

Their aiming, she says, for projects helping their municipal stormwater requirements, which are commonwealth-mandated efforts to reduce sediment load going into the Chesapeake Bay.

"Creek bed restoration projects, streams throughout the township here. They could notice embankment projects being completed. That's what our target is," said Seesholtz.

She explained that some municipalities enforce small assessment or stormwater fees on residents to meet the municipal rainwater requirements.

South Londonderry Township does not enforce such fees and, with additional funding, Seesholtz said they may not have to for a while.

"This will allow it to go another five years for us not to have to impose that on our residents," said Seesholtz.

She said the township expects to vote on their chosen project at the next meeting on June 12.

From there, they would, officially, apply for grant funding.

The deadline for all qualifying municipalities to submit a grant application is June 20.

For more information on the Department of Environmental Protection grant funding efforts, follow the link here.