Dirt & Gravel Road Program
Pennsylvania's Dirt & Gravel Road Program is an innovative effort to fund "environmentally sound" maintenance of unpaved roadways that have been identified as sources of dust and sediment pollution. Signed into law in April 1997 as Section 9106 of the PA Vehicle Code, the program is based on the principle that informed local control is the most effective way to stop pollution. The program created a dedicated, non-lapsing fund (5 million each year, state wide) to provide moneys to local road maintenance by way of streamlined appropriations to local communities for use by local road maintenance entities under the auspices of a local Quality Assurance Board (QAB).
Local municipalities and state agencies that maintain dirt and gravel roads are eligible to receive funding. However, to be eligible for the program, the participant must first attend a two-day training session for "Environmentally Sensitive Maintenance of Dirt and Gravel Roads". To request funding, applicants submit a one-page application to the local Quality Assurance Board (QAB). The QAB, in turn, reviews the applications.
The Dirt & Gravel Road Maintenance Program funds are appropriated directly to the State Conservation Commission. The funds are not administered by or supervised under the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT). As such, PennDOT specifications and standards do not apply to this program.
The State Conservation Commission apportions Dirt & Gravel Road Maintenance funds to the County Conservation Districts. A 4-member Quality Assurance Board (QAB) made up of local appointees has been established in every county to assist the County Conservation District with grant application review and grant award making. Grants awarded to successful applicants will provide advance payments to aid with project cash flow and complete project work tasks on a timely basis.
Once a grant has been awarded, the project participant is generally given 50% of the grant amount to begin the project. 30% of the grant moneys are held by the Conservation District and QAB until the QAB and/or Conservation District staff has conducted a final inspection of the project. Once the project is completed and the QAB and Conservation District has determined that the project was completed in an environmentally sound way and according the program guidelines, the remainder of the money is then awarded to the project participant.
Quality Assurance Board (QAB) Members:
Russ Braun - Elk County Conservation District
Steve Putt - Elk County Conservation District
Gary Swope - USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
Tom McMann - PA Fish & Boat Commission
The Elk County Conservation District receives approximately $26,000 annually for Dirt & Gravel Road projects. To be eligible to receive project funding from the Conservation District, participants must have attended the 2-day environmentally sensitive maintenance training within the last 5 years.
The following entities are eligible to receive funding in Elk County:
PA Game Commission
Dirt & Gravel Road Project Map: