Harrisburg, April 18, 2018 – State Senator John Yudichak (D-Luzerne/Carbon) is pleased to announce that the Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority (WVSA) and the Earth Conservancy have been chosen by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to receive the 2018 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence.

“I am pleased that the Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority and the Earth Conservancy are being recognized statewide for their continued efforts to give back to the communities they serve. Both projects by the Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority and the Earth Conservancy have spurred economic growth in our region, while also ensuring our environment is protected,” said Senator John Yudichak.

The WVSA has been recognized for their Regional Stormwater Management plan and MS4 permit compliance. More than 30 municipalities in Luzerne County are collaborating on a municipal separate storm and sewer system (MS4) plan designed to reduce stormwater pollution to the Susquehanna River and to adhere to the Commonwealth’s commitment to the Chesapeake Bay Agreement. The project is expected to save the region $57 million over the next five years and $247 million over the next two decades.

“It is an honor to receive this award from Governor Wolf and the Department of Environmental Protection as we continue our collaborative efforts to protect and preserve both the Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay, while saving the region millions of dollars,” said Sam Guesto, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the WVSA.

The Earth Conservancy is being recognized for the Askam Borehole Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) Treatment System Wayside Exhibit. They installed two AMD treatment systems to prevent pollution from flowing into Nanticoke Creek and reduce the contamination of local watersheds. A walking path with signage teaches students about science and the community, enhances accessibility and safety of the site, and educates visitors about the region’s mining history and the environment.

“The Earth Conservancy is honored to be among those selected for a 2018 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence for its Askam Borehole Wayside Exhibit in Hanover Township,” said Mike Dziak, President & CEO of the Earth Conservancy. “Education is a key part of our work towards environmental and economic revitalization in the Wyoming Valley. We need members of the community to understand the environmental damages mine-scarred lands create, as well as the ways Earth Conservancy is trying to repair those impacts.  The Askam Borehole Wayside Exhibit is a unique educational tool that does just that for the school, university, nonprofit, and professional groups that visit, along with members of the public.”