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NEWS RELEASE

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
Department of Conservation
and Natural Resources
Commonwealth News Bureau
Room 308, Main Capitol
Harrisburg, PA 17120

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Gretchen Leslie
DCNR Press Secretary
(717) 772-9101

DCNR SEEKS COMMUNITY VOLUNTEERS TO HELP CLEAN UP OHIOPYLE STATE PARK
Cleanup Of Illegal Dumpsites Scheduled For October 4

HARRISBURG (September 25, 2003) — Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Michael DiBerardinis today issued a call for volunteers to help clean up illegal dumpsites in Ohiopyle State Park, Fayette County, Saturday, October 4, as part of the state’s Forest Lands Beautification Program.

“The Youghiogheny River Gorge that passes through the heart of Ohiopyle State Park provides some of the best whitewater boating in the Eastern United States,” Secretary DiBerardinis said. “The rugged, natural beauty of this park that serves as the gateway to the Laurel Mountains should not be marred by trash and debris.”

The cleanup will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, October 4. Interested volunteers should contact Maggie Frankenbery at (724) 438-1386 for more information and to volunteer.

Volunteers will meet at the Ohiopyle State Park office. Volunteers should follow SR 381 south of the falls and bear left onto Dinner Bell Road. The park office is on the right. Volunteers will then carpool to the cleanup sites. Items to be removed include tires, vehicle parts, appliances, household trash and more.

Participants are encouraged to wear sturdy shoes, long pants, long sleeves and work gloves. All volunteers must be at least 12 years of age. Volunteers under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult supervisor during the cleanup and must have a consent form signed by a parent or guardian. Each adult supervisor may be responsible for no more than six youth volunteers.

Signed into law in 1998, the Forest Lands Beautification Act provides up to $7.5 million over five years to clean up existing dumps in state forests and parks by recycling or properly disposing of waste materials. The program is funded by the Municipal Waste Planning, Recycling and Waste Reduction Act (Act 101), administered by the Department of Environmental Protection.

DCNR works in partnership with PA CleanWays, a non-profit organization, to identify dumpsites and to form community volunteer teams to help remove the waste.

About 300 illegal dumpsites have been identified throughout Pennsylvania. To date, more than 200 sites have been cleaned through the efforts of contractors and more than 2,000 volunteers. These cleanups have resulted in the removal of nearly 2,300 tons of household trash, more than 20,000 tires, 330 tons of scrap metal, 525 tons of concrete, and more.

The Forest Lands Beautification Program also seeks to educate citizens about proper methods of disposal. The program’s website, www.CleanPAForests.org (select “Proper Disposal”), includes a link to “Earth’s 911,” a public-private partnership providing a national database of recycling information. Users can enter their ZIP code to obtain a listing of local curbside or drop-off recycling programs, solid-waste disposal locations, yard-waste composting sites and household hazardous-waste disposal sites. The database includes names and locations of facilities, phone numbers, hours of operation and any restrictions pertaining to the acceptance of waste.

Those wanting more information on recycling in Fayette County should contact Warren Hughes, Fayette County Department of Solid Waste Management, at (724) 430-4884.

For more information about the Forest Lands Beautification Program, call toll-free at 1-877-7PAFOREST (1-877-772-3673) or log on to www.CleanPAForests.org.

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