Matzie speaks on importance of Growing Greener III environmental program

Program goes hand-in-hand with economic growth, Matzie tells colleagues

HARRISBURG, June 12 – At a Capitol news conference today, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, spoke on the importance of legislation establishing a framework for the Growing Greener III program, which is designed to protect the state’s water, land and other natural resources while stimulating economic growth.

House Bill 2485 is currently in the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee. Matzie, a co-sponsor, is urging the committee chairman to move the bill to the House chamber, citing the success of prior Growing Greener programs and the program’s ongoing importance, both statewide and to residents of western Pennsylvania.

“Since the Growing Greener program began nearly 20 years ago, it has been a proven success,” Matzie said. “But funding has declined by 75 percent. It’s absolutely critical that we establish the necessary framework to get Growing Greener III up and running.

“Under the first two iterations of Growing Greener, over 1,600 acres of abandoned mine land were restored. This was vital to all Pennsylvanians, but particularly to those in the southwest. This work needs to continue and expand.

“Equally essential is Growing Greener’s role in the continued development of brownfields. Exciting, large-scale manufacturing development is happening in Beaver County and southwest Pennsylvania as we speak, and reclaimed brownfields are a big part of the reason why.

“Growing Greener has proven that smart, commonsense investments in our environment can yield economic benefits and spur job growth. It’s time we gave this program the shot in the arm that it and our constituents deserve.”