U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent listed the following 15th District projects for which he has requested funding in the FY2010 appropriations process. Congressman Dent also issued the following statement concerning earmark reform:

“I support reform of congressionally directed funding. I have long supported a budgetary cap on earmarks and equitable distribution of funds among all members, and in the past I have cosponsored legislation to this effect. I voted recently for a budget proposal that would put in place a moratorium on ALL earmarks until such reforms are enacted.

“However, until that is accomplished, I cannot in good conscience sit by and watch taxpayers from my district fund projects in other districts. That’s exactly what happens when a Congressman unilaterally decides not to appropriate funds for local projects. No money is saved or returned to Treasury for deficit reduction. The rejected ‘share’ is taken instead by powerful chairmen who keep it for themselves or distribute it to other Congressmen.

“I pride myself as always requesting funding for projects that meet certain criteria – they must serve the public at large, they must be viable, and they should be independently funded (in other words, federal funds help move or complete the project, but aren’t its entire source).

“As is the case every year, I received more requests for funding than I ultimately request in appropriations; therefore, this list does not reflect the entire list of organizations and communities that sought funding.

“To better insure an open process by which I select projects, I have instituted a Citizens Advisory Committee for these requests. This Committee consists of nine community leaders, representing diverse interests, who meet and determine whether funding requests meet those criteria.

“This committee met recently and helped me establish priorities for our community.”

AGRICULTURE

Pennsylvania State University (117 Old Main, University Park, PA 16802)

• PROJECT: Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resources

• ACCOUNT: USDA - CSREES

• REQUEST: $400,000

• DESCRIPTION: Funding for this project will support a collaborative research and education program with the Rodale Institute that will help diverse farm operations better adopt sustainable farming practices. The project will increase field research and demonstration to enhance the exposure of farm advisors and farmers to sustainable cropping system practices. Practices to be further investigated and field-demonstrated include: crop species and cultivars for inclusion in crop rotations that improve the performance of sustainable and organic cropping systems, especially for the Northeast; fine-tuning of management guidelines for mechanical control of cover crops and weeds in conservation and no-tillage systems to reduce or eliminate herbicides; factors that better promote conservation of biological control organisms and beneficial soil microorganisms for weed seed predation and management of other pests; and practices that increase soil organic matter.

The Rodale Institute (611 Siegfriedale Road, Kutztown, PA 19530)

• PROJECT: Sod-Based Rotation Management for Maximum Carbon Sequestration and Economic Returns

• ACCOUNT: USDA - ARS

• REQUEST: $500,000

• DESCRIPTION: Funding for this project will help establish a research program to investigate the integration of sustainable sod-based livestock pasture and associated technologies into multi-year grain and vegetable crop production systems in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States. The project will help farmers increase soil health, crop yields and farm economic returns by reducing tillage and incorporating organic matter inputs such as crop residues, manure, compost, and cover crops into their soils. Integrating sod-based pastured livestock and advanced equipment technologies, including the no-till roller crimper and keyline plow, into standard grain and vegetable rotations may further improve soil health, increase soil carbon sequestration and enhance economic returns.

DEFENSE, NATIONAL SECURITY & VETERANS

Active Data Exchange (190 Brodhead Road, Suite, 300, Bethlehem, PA 18017)

• PROJECT: Enhanced PM LAV Product Data Management Environment

• ACCOUNT: RDTE, Navy – Marine Corps

• REQUEST: $2,000,000

• DESCRIPTION: Funding will be used to improve the US Marine Corps’ Light Armored Vehicles (LAV) supportability by providing a software solution and service that allows an effective management of life cycle product data. The US Marine Corps uses a software solution to manage the life cycle of its LAV but the current program (LAV IDE, or Integrated Data Environment) lacks the capability to manage detailed weapon-system engineering information. This product data is critical to ensuring that the LAV is designed and engineered to maximize battle readiness. Specifically, this project will allow Active Data Exchange to review the current platforms, research and test the implementation of commercial, off-the-shelf (COTS) PDM software to augment existing capabilities. Additionally, existing product data, such as technical manuals, in a non-digital format will be converted to a digital format. These two actions will establish, maintain, and communicate previously isolated and inaccessible weapon system product data to all users.

Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. (7201 Hamilton Boulevard, Allentown, PA 18195)

• PROJECT: Ballistic Armor Research

• ACCOUNT: RDT&E, Army

• REQUEST: $2,750,000

• DESCRIPTION: This project partners industry with a strategic university to conduct research under the leadership of the U.S. Army Research Lab (ARL) in Aberdeen, MD to develop polymers and materials that will provide basis for the next generation of armor to protect personnel, equipment, and critical infrastructure. While current approaches in vehicle armor technology continue to use all-metal construction or in some cases ceramic-steel and polymer-ceramic-steel designs, polymer-based armor, based on multilayer composite technology comprising ceramics, metals, and polymers, will allow for better protection, at a lighter weight and lower cost. This research will provide a fundamental understanding of how materials undergo physical and chemical changes during the blast/impact which will lead to polymer-based armor solutions for programs like MCWL Lightweight Body Armor. The body armor advances can be replicated in next-generation vehicle armor systems for new programs such as Joint Light Tactical Vehicles and the MRAP-ATV armored vehicle program needed for use in Afghanistan.

Bosch Rexroth Corporation (2315 City Line Road, Bethlehem, PA 18017)

• PROJECT: Networked Reliability and Safety Early Evaluation System (NRSEES)

• ACCOUNT: RDT&E, Army

• REQUEST: $2,750,000

DESCRIPTION: Changing requirements for combat and tactical vehicles are accelerating the urgent need to quickly assess and identify new technology for reliability, durability, and safety shortcomings in combat environments. NRSEES will include a Dynamic High Frequency Component Reliability System and a High Payload Reliability System (HPRS). Specifically, funding for this project is to design, build, test, train and install the HPRS. This system will be a large simulator capable of accurately assessing vehicle system structural reliability for platforms up to 35 tons, which will include current MRAP's, MATV, JLTV, FCS and all legacy Tactical Wheeled Vehicles, Trailers and Light Armored Vehicles.

Curtiss-Wright Corporation - Engineered Pump Division (222 Cameron Drive, Phillipsburg, NJ 08865)

• PROJECT: Landing Craft Composite Lift Fan

• ACCOUNT: RDT&E, Navy

• REQUEST: $1,000,000

• DESCRIPTION: The presence of salt water, extreme temperatures, and the abrasive effects of airborne sand reduce the effective life of LCAC Amphibious Assault Vessels’ metal fans. The U.S. Navy spends approximately $1.4 million a year repairing and replacing the lift fan blades on the LCAC Landing Craft. This project will complete the development of composite material lift fans for Navy landing craft, enabling the replacement of metallic blades which require high maintenance and frequent replacement, resulting in higher life cycle costs and decreased operational reliability. Funding will support the installation and testing of a composite lift fan prototype on a Navy landing craft and any final design modifications that are required. This project will provide a domestic manufacturer of a composite lift fan that will reduce maintenance and life cycle costs, and increase operational reliability for the current and next generation landing craft fleet.

Dynalene, Inc. (5250 West Coplay Road, Whitehall, PA 18052)

• PROJECT: Hybrid Nanoparticle-based Coolant Technology Development and Manufacturing

• ACCOUNT: RDT&E, Air Force

• REQUEST: $1,500,000

• DESCRIPTION: DOD is actively supporting thermal management activities to ensure that Directed Energy Weapons (DEWs) function properly when they are introduced into the military. The cooling system in these applications requires not only a highly efficient heat transfer device, but also a coolant that has significantly better thermo-physical properties than the existing fluids. There is no coolant fluid currently available that possesses all of the desirable properties required for high heat flux applications such as the DEWs. Dynalene has developed an advanced coolant composition that addresses the shortcomings of existing coolants by combining a base composition (which can be a mixture of water and an antifreeze compound) with specially designed hybrid nanoparticles. This project will complete the optimization of the coolant and demonstrate its applicability in a real DEW system. Funding will be used to fabricate a reactor and separator, to develop a quality control system for the hybrid nanoparticles and the coolant, to establish scale-up criteria to go to the next level of manufacturing, and generate samples for testing in DEW systems as well as various civilian applications.

International Battery, Inc. (6845 Snowdrift Road, Allentown, PA 18106)

• PROJECT: Silent Watch, IB NPS 1160 Lithium-Ion Advanced Battery

• ACCOUNT: RDT&E, Army

• REQUEST: $2,000,000

• DESCRIPTION: The project will demonstrate the improved performance capability of the Lithium-Ion battery, which will provide increased power and energy density and life cycle sustainability over the previous (IB model IB-1100) battery type. Through this program, it is anticipated that the operational support cost drivers will be reduced. This battery will consist of a Silent Watch, 28V (seven series connected 160Ah Lithium Iron Phosphate cells), third generation IB BMS, and a self-contained Thermal Management System. Additionally, the battery provides no hazardous material such as lead or acid, which eliminates major disposal charges.

Lehigh Heavy Forge Corporation (275 Emery Street, Bethlehem, PA 18015)

• PROJECT: Navy Production Capacity Improvement Project

• ACCOUNT: Defense Production Act Purchases

• REQUEST: $2,750,000

• DESCRIPTION: The Navy Production Capacity Improvement Project will expand, modernize, and maintain the production capabilities of Lehigh Heavy Forge, which is needed to support production of Navy Ship shafts and Navy Nuclear Reactor components. Lehigh Heavy Forge is the only domestic facility with the capability to produce the large, complex forgings required for the nuclear power plants and propulsion shafts of the U.S. Navy Submarine and Aircraft Carrier Programs. Specifically, this project will provide for the engineering and installation of an automated Ultrasonic test system to increase production capability and improve the inspection process; the installation of a new computer programming and drafting system to replace an old and unreliable system; the engineering and rebuilding of three heating furnaces in the Forge and Treatment Department; and the engineering and upgrading of facilities for shipping and inspection operations.

Lightwire, Inc. (7540 Windsor Drive, Suite 412, Allentown, PA 18195)

• PROJECT: High Speed Optical Interconnects for Next Generation Supercomputing

• ACCOUNT: RDT&E, Defense-Wide

• REQUEST: $3,000,000

• DESCRIPTION: The Army and other services have two overarching needs in the future in the area of computing devices; they need to be faster and more capable, but at the same time smaller (and use less energy). These needs run the entire spectrum from the largest defense computing assets (supercomputers) to the very smallest (PDA’s that can be “worn” by a soldier). The need for high performance computer simulations by classified Defense projects is massive. Supercomputers can model ballistics, armor performance under attack, radar signatures of new stealth technologies, nuclear weapons performance and other needs, saving manpower and funding that would be required to truly test such phenomena. In order to target the next generation of supercomputers, Lightwire proposes a joint research effort with DARPA to explore uses of its optical printed circuit board technology supporting both C4ISR antenna remoting and supercomputing needs. Funding will be used to accelerate the development of high speed optical interconnects needed to enable the next generation of DOD supercomputing needs.

Neuromonics, Inc. (2810 Emrick Boulevard, Bethlehem, PA 18020)

• PROJECT: Chronic Tinnitus Treatment Program

• ACCOUNT: RDT&E, Army

• REQUEST: $1,500,000

• DESCRIPTION: The Army reports that tinnitus is among the top medical complaints of soldiers returning from OIF/OEF and often occurs with Traumatic Brain Injury/mild Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI/mTBI). Until recently, no effective treatment program has existed to help individuals suffering with the effects of tinnitus. The Chronic Tinnitus Treatment Program is designed to interact, interrupt, and desensitize tinnitus disturbance for long-term benefit, especially in those suffering with chronic and severe tinnitus. The treatment program shows promise by reducing symptoms quickly, in particular, providing relief from the disturbing effects of the condition; treating the neurological causes associated with tinnitus; providing long term relief and improvements in quality of life; and being convenient and noninvasive. This funding will allow the clinical trial to expand to study the effectiveness of the program with specific subgroups of servicemembers (PTSD and/or TBI) and veterans with chronic and severe tinnitus.

ProModel Corporation (7540 Windsor Drive, Suite 300, Allentown, PA 18195)

• PROJECT: Army Force Generation Synchronization Tool (AST)

• ACCOUNT: O&M, Army

• REQUEST: $2,500,000

• DESCRIPTION: The project will accelerate the deployment and enhance the current capabilities of the ProModel AST. In 2006 ProModel was tasked by FORSCOM to provide a technology solution based on its COTS software platform. The solution enables the Army to capture the Army Force Generation Model (ARFORGEN) process in software, providing decision makers the ability to rapidly create Courses of Action and predict the impact of their decisions on key metrics such as Dwell and Boots on Ground. The ability through automation to run “what if’s” to assess risk on readiness is recognized as a key priority for the Army and Joint Forces. The AST has provided a unique capability to quickly visualize the impact of today’s sourcing decisions on the Army’s capability to sustain operations in the future and to synchronize associated resources and training.

ECONOMIC & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Borough of Hellertown (685 Main Street, Hellertown, PA 18055)

• PROJECT: Reinhard Elementary School Renovations

• ACCOUNT: HUD - Economic Development Initiatives-EDI

• REQUEST: $500,000

• DESCRIPTION: This funding will be used for the conversion of the currently closed Reinhard Elementary School into a full Community and Human Services Center by the Borough of Hellertown. The project will require renovation and construction. Hellertown and the greater Saucon Valley area are in great need of a centralized indoor facility that can serve community youth and senior citizens, and function as a base for human services and local policing. This facility will also become a major meeting place for local organizations and community non-profit groups. The re-use of an existing building enables retro-fitting to increase energy efficiency, and avoids wasting valuable greenfield and infill space, which is at an absolute premium in Hellertown.

Borough of Souderton (31 West Summit Street, Souderton, PA 18964)

• PROJECT: Souderton Train Station and Freight Buildings Restoration

• ACCOUNT: HUD - Economic Development Initiatives-EDI

• REQUEST: $500,000

• DESCRIPTION: This funding will be used to renovate and restore the interior and exterior of the historic Souderton Train Station and two adjacent freight buildings. Souderton is one of at least seven communities with rail buildings built at the turn of the 20th Century to accommodate freight and passenger service on the Quakertown-Stony Creek line. With an active effort being made to return passenger rail service to the existing line, which currently handles a large amount of freight traffic, these local facilities are being restored throughout the region. The buildings in Souderton reflect the history of communities that blossomed around rail lines and will serve as a warm welcome to residents using this line when passenger service is restored.

Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley - Rising Tide Community Loan Fund (RTCLF) (1337 East Fifth Street, Bethlehem, PA 18015)

• PROJECT: Green Business Advancement Program

• ACCOUNT: Small Business Administration

• REQUEST: $150,000

• DESCRIPTION: This program, run by the Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley - Rising Tide Community Loan Fund (RTCLF), will help small businesses identify and implement energy efficiency improvements. For each participating small business, RTCLF will offer a green business assessment/energy audit, generate an estimated savings calculation based on potential remediation projects, and develop an energy savings plan that outlines work necessary to reach maximum efficiency and a detailed schedule of work. RTCLF will work with business owners and contractors in scheduling assessments, audits, and renovations; preparing loan packages and documentation; developing partnerships with community organizations focused on energy efficiency and sustainability; monitoring utility bills and savings of borrowers; and providing technical assistance in environmentally friendly business practices.

County of Lehigh (17 South 7th Street, Allentown, PA 18101)

• PROJECT: Coplay Company Cement Kilns Preservation

• ACCOUNT: NPS – Save America’s Treasures

• REQUEST: $250,000

• DESCRIPTION: This funding will be used to stabilize and restore the historic Coplay Company Cement Kilns, known locally as the Saylor Cement Kilns, a unique industrial feature built between 1892 and 1893 that is key to the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor's industrial story. The Saylor Cement Kilns are in a state of serious decay, prompting concerns about public safety and liability, as well as the potential loss of a significant historical landmark in the Lehigh Valley region. Rehabilitating the kilns will have a positive impact on local economic development through increased heritage tourism. Once restored, the site will encourage use for historical education and community events.

Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center (DVIRC) (2905 Southampton Road, Philadelphia, PA 19154)

• PROJECT: Emerging Manufacturers Initiative

• ACCOUNT: Small Business Administration

• REQUEST: $250,000

• DESCRIPTION: This funding will support the Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center (DVIRC) in developing a program focused on providing Emerging Manufacturing companies in the Delaware Valley region with the skills, knowledge and training to grow their businesses and become leaders in the regional economy. Modeled after the SBA’s Emerging 200 Initiative, DVIRC will identify 20 small manufacturing companies in the Delaware Valley Region that have generated at least $250,000 in annual sales for the past three years and develop a manufacturing education and training curriculum that will assist the companies in adopting winning expansion strategies for their businesses. The program will give participants the opportunity to work with experienced mentors, attend workshops and develop connections with peers, elected officials, community leaders and the local financial community.

Episcopal Ministries of the Diocese of Bethlehem - New Bethany Ministries (333 West 4th Street, Bethlehem, PA 18015)

• PROJECT: New Bethany Ministries Shawnee Building Rehabilitation

• ACCOUNT: HUD - Economic Development Initiatives-EDI

• REQUEST: $250,000

• DESCRIPTION: This funding will be used by the Episcopal Ministries of the Diocese of Bethlehem to rehabilitate an abandoned manufacturing building into a community asset where low-income, mentally disabled and homeless people will receive groceries, meals, financial case management, used clothing, and a variety of emergency walk-in services. The upper floor will be transformed into attractive, safe and secure single room occupancy units of case-managed housing for low-income mentally disabled or chronically homeless adults.

Lafayette College (6 Markle Hall, Easton, PA 18042)

• PROJECT: Marquis de Lafayette Collection Conservation

• ACCOUNT: NPS – Save America’s Treasures

• REQUEST: $50,000

• DESCRIPTION: This funding will be used to conserve, repair and restore items in The Marquis de Lafayette Collections at Lafayette College. The collection contains a wide range of materials pertaining to the life of Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, the Marquis de Lafayette, and is one of the most distinguished collections relating to the Marquis in America. The project will focus on the preservation of the most historically significant, as well as the most at-risk items in the collection. The entire collection is organized into three major categories: the manuscript, print, and memorabilia collections. The continued deterioration of these materials could result in an irretrievable loss. The collection has an extraordinary national significance and is considered a local treasure in the City of Easton and Lehigh Valley region, which played critical roles in the Revolutionary War and the founding of the nation.

Northampton Community College (3835 Green Pond Road, Bethlehem, PA 18020)

• PROJECT: Northampton Community College - Electrotechnology Applications Center (ETAC)

• ACCOUNT: Small Business Administration

• REQUEST: $250,000

• DESCRIPTION: The Northampton Community College ETAC provides confidential assistance to businesses and manufacturers to help them increase productivity, improve energy efficiency, and achieve and maintain environmental compliance. Specifically, ETAC helps small businesses gain a competitive advantage by applying alternative technologies to improve heating, drying, coating and curing processes. This project addresses a statewide initiative to provide support for proactively reducing emissions from the manufacturing sector. Funding will be used to continue the Center’s small business program which helps manufacturers reduce green house gas (GHG), volatile organic compound (VOC), and hazardous air pollutant (HAP) emissions.

Sunnybrook Foundation (50 Sunnybrook Road, Pottstown, PA 19464)

• PROJECT: Sunnybrook Historic Revitalization Project

• ACCOUNT: HUD - Economic Development Initiatives-EDI

• REQUEST: $250,000

• DESCRIPTION: This funding will be utilized by the Sunnybrook Foundation for the preservation and revitalization of a historic ballroom, a National Historic Register site, which will be used by the community for seniors and youth programs in music and dance. The funding will also advance the completion of a conference center and performing arts venue to bolster regional tourism. This project will benefit the greater Pottstown area by providing a modern facility for community activity and enhancing tourism in the region.

EDUCATION, HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES

Allentown Symphony Association (23 North 6th Street, Allentown, PA 18101)

• PROJECT: Interdisciplinary and Innovative Music Education for Youth

• ACCOUNT: Department of Education – Fund for the Improvement of Education-FIE

• REQUEST: $100,000

• DESCRIPTION: Funding will support the Youth Concert Series with the development of Spanish educational materials (Teacher’s Manual) and Spanish translation during Concert performances, as well as the development of a web-based interactive Bilingual educational website for students and their families. Additionally, funding will support the production costs for traveling music education experiences to urban school districts whose budgets prohibit transportation or field trip experiences beyond the classroom. The Allentown Symphony Association is the parent organization of the Allentown Symphony Orchestra and Allentown Symphony Hall, whose goal is to engage children in exploring significant ways to interact with music, musicians and orchestra conductors.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lehigh Valley (878 Minesite Road, Allentown, PA 18103)

• PROJECT: Whitehall-Coplay School District Student Mentoring Program

• ACCOUNT: Department of Education – Fund for the Improvement of Education-FIE)

• REQUEST: $20,000

• DESCRIPTION: Funding will be used to expand the current School-Based Mentoring initiative in the Whitehall-Coplay School District. The School-Based Mentoring program in the Whitehall-Coplay School District provides High School “Bigs,” who have been screened, oriented, and trained by an Enrollment & Match Specialist, to “Littles” at Steckel Elementary School. In the 2009/2010 school year, Big Brothers Big Sisters anticipates matching 25 students from Steckel Elementary School and 25 students from the new elementary school in the district with 50 students from Whitehall High School.

City of Bethlehem Emergency Management Service (EMS) (10 E. Church Street, Bethlehem, PA 18018)

• PROJECT: Emergency Management Service Facility Expansion and Renovation

• ACCOUNT: Department of Health and Human Services – Health Resources and Services Administration-HRSA

• REQUEST: $500,000

• DESCRIPTION: Funding will be used by the City to support the community’s increasing need for EMS services by leasing and renovating a portion of a building owned by St. Luke's Hospital, a local hospital. Specifically, the completion of this project will more than double the current EMS facility, allowing the City to store all their ambulances in garaged space. Additionally, the new facility will provide the ability to improve numerous aspects of EMS – faster responses, centralization of location, maintaining centralization of EMS administration, future growth, safer access and egress.

Hispanic American Organization, Inc. (462 Walnut Street, Allentown, PA 18102)

• PROJECT: Roberto Clemente Charter School Science Initiative

• ACCOUNT: Department of Education – Fund for the Improvement of Education-FIE

• REQUEST: $150,000

• DESCRIPTION: Funding will be used to develop the science curriculum to be used in new comprehensive middle school and high school science labs at Roberto Clemente Charter School (RCCS). RCCS was founded in 2000 in an effort to reduce the drop out rate of Latino students in the Allentown School District. Students are increasingly expressing an interest in healthcare and engineering fields. By offering lab credits, RCCS will better prepare its students for competitive post-secondary education programs. The science curriculum will meet required state standards, prepare students to succeed in college and ultimately, secure meaningful careers. Also, this new curriculum will allow RCCS to develop mentoring and interning programs with local companies who may be future employers of RCCS students.

Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Performing Arts (LVPA) (675 East Broad Street, Bethlehem, PA 18018)

• PROJECT: Artistic and Scholastic Development Initiative

• ACCOUNT: Department of Education – Fund for the Improvement of Education-FIE

• REQUEST: $300,000

• DESCRIPTION: Since opening their doors in the fall of 2003 with 280 students, LVPA has grown to serve over 430 students from forty districts and seven counties. For LVPA to maintain the highest level of academic and artistic instruction, administrators and instructors require resources to develop effective curricula, as well as access to equipment and techonology that will compliment classroom instruction. Charter Schools, like LVPA, operate at 75 percent of the funding of their sending districts. This funding will allow LVPA to serve students, as well as the community as a whole by broadening and improving the scope of their programs.

Lehigh Valley Coalition for Kids (LVCK) (5000 Tilghman Street, #207, Allentown, PA 18104)

• PROJECT: Drive for Healthy Kids Program

• ACCOUNT: Department of Health & Human Services – Health Resources and Services Administration-HRSA

• REQUEST: $150,000

• DESCRIPTION: Funding will allow the Lehigh Valley Coalition for Kids (LVCK) and St. Luke’s Hospital & Health Network to improve a Lehigh Valley-wide collaborative effort to provide medical, dental, and vision care to children and adolescents (under 19) lacking basic health care due to low family income and/or a broad range of socio-economic issues. Through this initiative, four fully equipped and supplied health vans will bring regularly scheduled services to area schools and youth agencies throughout much of Northampton and Lehigh Counties. In 2007, this program provided 1,234 medical visits and 2,984 dental visits. About one-third of the children treated on the vans do not have health insurance. The remaining two-thirds qualify for free or reduced care but do not receive regular medical or dental care. Over 50 percent of the children receiving dental services in any given year have never seen a dentist. The immediate urgent need for medical, dental, and vision care far exceeds currently available resources. This funding will be a major step toward meeting the most critical current and anticipated needs.

Muhlenberg College (2400 W. Chew Street, Allentown, PA 18104)

• PROJECT: Community Fellowships for Undergraduate Students in Civic Engagement and Economic Development

• ACCOUNT: Department of Education – Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education-FIPSE

• REQUEST: $200,000

• DESCRIPTION: Funding will expand civic engagement and undergraduate service learning by leveraging Muhlenberg College resources to address issues related to health, housing, economic development and urban education to serve approximately 700 local residents. Specifically, the project will assemble an experienced team of faculty, students, and administrators under the leadership of a highly qualified Community Service and Civic Engagement Director to implement and operate the Community Fellowships for Undergraduate Students in Civic Engagement and Economic Development. Participants will collaborate with targeted community partners to accomplish economic development projects addressing housing, public health, urban education, nutrition, domestic violence, and other urban issues.

North Penn Valley Boys & Girls Club (115 Washington Avenue, Souderton, PA 18964)

• PROJECT: After School Activity Program (ASAP)

• ACCOUNT: DOJ – OJP-Juvenile Justice

• REQUEST: $75,000

• DESCRIPTION: This funding will be used to develop an after school activity program at the North Penn Valley Boys & Girls Club, the only youth-focused agency serving the Souderton and Telford area, targeted to reach children from disadvantaged backgrounds. In 2009, the Club is hoping to expand its membership by 100 children, and increase daily participation in after school programs by as much as 30%. The Boys & Girls Club model for success works and transforms today's children into the community leaders of tomorrow. The North Penn Valley Boys & Girls Club provides children in the disadvantaged communities of Souderton and Telford the opportunity to become leaders in school, at home and in the workforce.

ProJeCt of Easton (320 Ferry Street, Easton, PA 18042)

• PROJECT: Language and Literacy Program at the ProJeCt of Easton

• ACCOUNT: Department of Education – Fund for the Improvement of Education-FIE

• REQUEST: $50,000

• DESCRIPTION: Funding for this project will support ProJeCt of Easton’s Language and Literacy initiative through one-to-one tutoring and classroom-based instruction. Specifically, funding will be used to support program staff, including a Volunteer Coordinator who will be responsible for the training, supervision, continuous improvement and development of tutor services including the current 38 tutor volunteers. ProJeCt has provided language and literacy education to Easton, Pennsylvania and the surrounding communities for the past thirty years.

Sacred Heart Hospital (421 Chew Street, Allentown, PA 18102)

• PROJECT: Operating Room Equipment

• ACCOUNT: Department of Health and Human Services – Health Resources and Services Administration-HRSA

• REQUEST: $500,000

• DESCRIPTION: This project will support the purchase of operating room equipment essential for treatment and service for Hospital patients. Specifically, funding will be used to replace or upgrade essential equipment in the operating suite to provide Sacred Heart patients with the highest quality of care. The existing equipment does not reflect the highest levels of technology currently available to hospitals. Sacred Heart Hospital is a 226 bed, acute care teaching hospital in the City of Allentown.

United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley (2200 Avenue A, Third Floor, Bethlehem, PA 18017)

• PROJECT: Community Partners for School Success (COMPASS) Community Schools Initiative

• ACCOUNT: Department of Education – Fund for the Improvement of Education-FIE

• REQUEST: $125,000

• DESCRIPTION: This funding will support the implementation of the Community Schools model in high-need public schools in Lehigh and Northampton Counties (Allentown, Bethlehem, Bangor). Specifically, funding will be used for personnel, training and technical assistance, and program-related costs. The mission of the Community School model is to: equip school administrators and stakeholders with the framework to provide students with a quality curriculum; connect families and community members to vital health and human services; support leadership development among parents, educators and community members; extend the use of school buildings beyond the school day; and ensure that children enter kindergarten ready to learn.

Valley Education and Community Services (VECS) (PO Box 172, East Greenville, PA 18041)

• PROJECT: Upper Perkiomen Valley Continuing Education Initiative

• ACCOUNT: Department of Labor - Employment and Training Administration

• REQUEST: $40,000

• DESCRIPTION: Funding will be used to provide continuing education programs that will offer skills training, and cultural, financial and social opportunities to all residents of the greater Upper Perkiomen Valley. The Upper Perkiomen Valley does not have a college, high school, or other institution that offers free/low-cost continuing education classes to people of all ages and abilities. This program will provide residents with important services that will assist them in facing current economic and employment challenges.

Valley Youth House Committee, Inc. (829 Linden Street, Allentown, PA 18101)

• PROJECT: Adventure Challenge Education for Gang Prevention (ACE)

• ACCOUNT: DOJ – OJP-Juvenile Justice

• REQUEST: $250,000

• DESCRIPTION: This funding will be used to advance an intensive 21-week intervention for a total of 48 youth (12 per group) ages 15-17. The program will benefit young people who are at high risk for gang involvement due to family members' or neighbors' connection with gang activity or the youth's own delinquent behavior. As a result of their involvement in the proposed program, youth will develop positive decision making, problem solving and leadership skills, enhancing their ability to become responsible and productive members of the local community. The ACE program was developed in response to the increasing presence and threat of gang activity in the Lehigh Valley region, including the recent introduction of several national gangs. ACE was piloted as a four-week summer program in 2007 with federal funding through the 222 Corridor Anti-Gang Initiative. This funding would make it possible to repeat the program four times in 2010 and expand it to include an intensive follow-up component to increase impact and ensure that youth are able to sustain progress.

Westminster Village (803 N. Wahneta Street, Allentown, PA 18109)

• PROJECT: Dementia Leadership Program

• ACCOUNT: Department of Health & Human Services - Administration on Aging

• REQUEST: $225,000

• DESCRIPTION: Funding will be used to develop outreach initiatives to educate the public about maintaining brain health and mitigating the impact of dementia, create a public resource center, and provide staff training in the most advanced methods of dementia care. Approximately 15 million Americans will have Alzheimer’s by the middle of this century unless a cure or prevention is found. This program will provide enhanced medical diagnosis, treatment and care for those with Alzheimer’s; offer individuals and families vital information and support; and enable long-term care facilities to provide for optimal outcomes for affected individuals.

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT & SCIENCE

Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. (7201 Hamilton Boulevard, Allentown, PA 18195)

• PROJECT: Green Energy ITM Ceramic Membranes

• ACCOUNT: Department of Energy – Fossil Energy R&D

• REQUEST: $2,000,000

• DESCRIPTION: This funding will allow Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. to advance the development of Green Energy ITM Ceramic Membranes, which can be integrated into a state-of-the-art gasification system to produce synthesis gas for the generation of advanced electric, hydrogen, or other clean fuels power. This versatile technology also enables the capture of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and can be applied in a cost-effective and environmentally responsible manner to a broad list of energy sources, including coal, natural gas, liquid hydrocarbons, biomaterials, and waste materials.

Delaware River Basin Commission (25 State Police Drive, PO Box 7360, West Trenton, NJ 08628)

• PROJECT: Delaware River Basin Enhanced Flood Warning System

• ACCOUNT: Department of Commerce – NOAA-National Weather Service

• REQUEST: $235,000

• DESCRIPTION: This funding will be used by the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) to enhance the Delaware River Basin’s flood warning system through upgrades to the existing precipitation and stream gage network, improvements of flash flood forecasting capabilities, flood warning education and outreach, and increased support of flood coordination.

Delaware River Basin Commission (25 State Police Drive, P.O. Box 7360, West Trenton, NJ 06828)

• PROJECT: Mid-Atlantic River Basin Commissions (MD, PA, NY, VA, NJ, DE, WV)

• ACCOUNT: ACOE – Expenses

• REQUEST: $715,000 for the DRBC ($2,265,000 total for the Susquehanna River Basin Commission, Delaware River Basin Commission, and the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin)

• DESCRIPTION: This funding will fulfill the federal obligation established in the Delaware River Basin Compact (P.L. 87-328, Article 13, Section 13.3c) to support the Delaware River Basin Commission’s operations. Activities to be funded include water quality protection, water supply allocation, flood loss reduction, drought management, watershed planning, permitting, and water conservation.

East Penn Manufacturing (Deka Road, Lyon Station, PA 19536)

• PROJECT: Advanced Power Cube for Wind Power and Grid Regulation Services

• ACCOUNT: Department of Energy – EERE

• REQUEST: $1,000,000

• DESCRIPTION: This funding will allow East Penn Manufacturing to design, test, fabricate and implement new advanced battery energy storage technology that will be used to balance the fluctuating generation of electricity in wind systems and improve the efficiency of the current electricity grid. This technology will produce a more affordable, cleaner, recyclable and more efficient energy storage option than is currently available for wind power farms and grid regulation services.

Lehigh University (5 East Packer Avenue, Bethlehem, PA 18015)

• PROJECT: Energy Systems Engineering Institute

• ACCOUNT: Department of Energy – Science

• REQUEST: $2,000,000

• DESCRIPTION: This funding will support the creation of a research and education program, the Lehigh Energy Systems Engineering Institute (ESEI), at Lehigh University to spawn energy technology breakthroughs while simultaneously creating a pipeline of new talent for the energy sector workforce. The initiative will be a university-based program in which the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and various energy companies partner with university faculty to address critical research needs while developing the next generation of leaders and innovators for the energy industry.

Lehigh University (5 East Packer Avenue, Bethlehem, PA 18015)

• PROJECT: Lehigh University Advanced Materials Partnership

• ACCOUNT: NASA

• REQUEST: $1,000,000

• DESCRIPTION: This funding will be used to advance the partnership between Lehigh University, the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), U.S. Army ARDEC, and industry partners in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, and Delaware. The purpose of the partnership is development, characterization, and application of engineered nanomaterials and devices for NASA space missions and aeronautical applications. The development of current and future missions and vehicles requires nanomaterials with specific properties to meet NASA's needs. Funding will enable Lehigh to improve its extensive state-of-the-art characterization and analytical infrastructure for developing nanomaterials useful for NASA applications. These instruments will also benefit local and state partners who would not have access to such equipment otherwise.

Lehigh University (5 East Packer Avenue, Bethlehem, PA 18015)

• PROJECT: Regional Planning Center for Smart Growth

• ACCOUNT: EPA – Environmental Programs and Management

• REQUEST: $1,000,000

• DESCRIPTION: This funding will allow Lehigh University to develop protocols and best management practices for "smart growth" in the Lehigh River watershed, which has a long legacy of mining, heavy industrial activities and intensive agricultural land use. To establish best practices for land use that supports economic growth, this project will incorporate partnerships with federal, state and local groups, providing a unique combination of expertise to policymakers, planners, scientists and residents.

St. Luke's Hospital and Health Network (801 Ostrum Street, Fountain Hill, PA 18015)

• PROJECT: Energy Reduction and Efficiency Improvement Through Lighting Control

• ACCOUNT: Department of Energy – EERE

• REQUEST: $120,000

• DESCRIPTION: This funding will support an energy reduction and efficiency initiative at St. Luke's Hospital and Health Network by helping to install advanced lighting controls that automatically adjust to lighting needs. Using locally-produced lighting technology, St. Luke's estimates a 20% to 30% reduction in lighting costs. This project will assure the hospital maintains suitable lighting at all times for patients and staff while saving energy and cutting costs.

St. Luke’s Quakertown Hospital (1021 Park Avenue, Quakertown, PA 18951)

• PROJECT: Installation of Geothermal System at Upper Perkiomen Outpatient Center

• ACCOUNT: Department of Energy – EERE

• REQUEST: $560,000

• DESCRIPTION: This funding will allow St. Luke’s Quakertown Hospital to install a geothermal heating, cooling and hot water system at its Upper Perkiomen Outpatient Center, a 20,000 square foot outpatient medical facility and medical office building in Pennsburg. The installation of this system will allow St. Luke's to use about 25% less electricity than the base case air to air heat pump system originally planned for the facility.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Philadelphia District (100 Penn Square East, Philadelphia, PA 19107)

• PROJECT: Cementon Dam Removal and Fish Passage

• ACCOUNT: ACOE – Section 206

• REQUEST: $250,000

• DESCRIPTION: This funding will allow the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Philadelphia District to design and construct an ecosystem restoration project to allow anadromous, shad and river herring, passage as well as improve resident aquatic migration to over 50 miles of the Lehigh River.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Philadelphia District (100 Penn Square East, Philadelphia, PA 19107)

• PROJECT: Floodplain Management Services – Southeastern Pennsylvania

• ACCOUNT: ACOE – Investigations – FPMS

• REQUEST: $300,000

• DESCRIPTION: This funding will allow the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Philadelphia to conduct a study which will evaluate recent flooding that has occurred as a result of numerous storm events in the last several years. These events have caused substantial flood damages and have altered channel segments. The study would update floodplain mapping.

LAW ENFORCEMENT

Allentown Police Department (425 Hamilton Street, Allentown, PA 18101)

• PROJECT: Lehigh and Northampton Counties Interoperability Development Project.

• ACCOUNT: DOJ – COPS Law Enforcement Technology

• REQUEST: $1,000,000

• DESCRIPTION: This funding will be used to develop a cohesive, regional communications network of voice, data and video information sharing. This network will leverage the capabilities of Internet Protocol (IP) transport mechanisms to increase the exchange of all types of data information amongst numerous first responder agencies in the Lehigh Valley area. This project will allow multiple jurisdictions to perform day-to-day public safety operations, task force operations or large scale disaster situations through a seamless exchange of voice and data communications in real time circumstances. Multiple first responder agencies, including the cities of Allentown and Bethlehem, are seeking to achieve interoperability and information sharing within jurisdictions throughout Lehigh and Northampton Counties. The goal of this project is to eliminate technology to technology barriers that prohibit voice and data sharing among neighboring communities in Pennsylvania's third largest metropolitan region. The ability to communicate and share information is critical to reducing crime and creating a safer environment for local residents.

Bethlehem Police Department (10 East Church Street, Bethlehem, PA 18018)

• PROJECT: Bethlehem Multi-Jurisdictional Public Safety Camera Project

• ACCOUNT: DOJ – COPS Law Enforcement Technology

• REQUEST: $500,000

• DESCRIPTION: This funding will be used to enhance crime prevention efforts in the City of Bethlehem and enable the Bethlehem, Lehigh University, and Moravian College Police Departments to take a proactive approach towards public safety by installing outside wireless surveillance cameras in key locations throughout the city and around the college and university. The enhanced system will be capable of data sharing over common links to all of the departments which will provide additional ability to deter crime and monitor events.

County of Lehigh (501 West Hamilton Street, Allentown, PA 18101)

• PROJECT: Lehigh County Forensic Science Initiative

• ACCOUNT: DOJ – OJP-Byrne Discretionary Grants

• REQUEST: $350,000

• DESCRIPTION: This funding will be used to support a Forensic Science Center within the County of Lehigh. The Lehigh County Coroner’s Office currently operates at various local hospitals and lacks a central morgue facility, causing numerous issues, including staffing concerns and the use of multiple locations to store bodies and conduct forensic autopsies. Currently, all evidence and samples are sent to multiple locations for processing. This project will allow Lehigh County to move into the 21st Century by having innovative technology and equipment to better conduct forensic death investigations.

Lower Pottsgrove Police Department (2199 Buchert Road, Pottstown, PA 19464)

• PROJECT: Lower Pottsgrove Police Department Technology Upgrade

• ACCOUNT: DOJ – COPS Law Enforcement Technology

• REQUEST: $40,000

• DESCRIPTION: This funding will be used to update the Lower Pottsgrove Police Department's 8 marked patrol cars with critical in-car video capabilities. Similar systems are currently being used by several bordering agencies, allowing for easy interoperability throughout the area. The systems are technically advanced, making storage of taped events far less burdensome. This project would dramatically enhance officer and citizen safety, and improve evidence collection.

Marlborough Township Police Department (6040 Upper Ridge Road, Green Lane, PA 18054)

• PROJECT: Marlborough Police Department Technology Upgrade

• ACCOUNT: DOJ – COPS Law Enforcement Technology

• REQUEST: $45,000

• DESCRIPTION: This funding would be used to install mobile police operating systems into five data terminals, one in each of the Department's patrol vehicles. The current data terminals are approximately nine years old and not compatible with improved modern technology. Having the mobile operating systems installed in these vehicles will allow officers to obtain emergency information about involving local businesses and residents, access criminal history and arrest files, and immediately view years of departmental incidents. Additionally, this technology will improve interoperability with other local first responder agencies. Improving interoperability and providing instant data access will improve officer and resident safety, making the Department more efficient in protecting the public.

TRANSPORTATION & INFRASTRUCTURE

Borough of Bangor (197 Pennsylvania Avenue, Bangor, PA 18013)

• PROJECT: Reconstruction and Resurfacing of Local Roads, Borough of Bangor

• ACCOUNT: FHWA - Transportation & Community & System Preservation-TCSP

• REQUEST: $500,000

• DESCRIPTION: This funding will be used to reconstruct and resurface local roads in the Borough of Bangor. Bangor Borough is one of the least affluent municipalities in the Lehigh Valley region due to a declining tax base that stems from the outmigration of industry. During the last 15 years Bangor's real estate tax base declined by nearly $6,000,000.00. The severity of this decline has had a significant impact on the borough's ability to maintain infrastructure, including roads. To remain viable and spur needed economic growth, the community must promote an efficient transportation system, beginning with enhancing local roads.

Borough of East Greenville (206 Main Street, East Greenville, PA 18041)

• PROJECT: Reconstruction of Sixth and Arlington Streets, Borough of East Greenville

• ACCOUNT: FHWA - Transportation & Community & System Preservation-TCSP

• REQUEST: $105,000

• DESCRIPTION: This funding will be used by the Borough of East Greenville to reconstruct two streets in a residential neighborhood that are in extremely poor condition. The streets currently lack a sub-base, allowing mud to push through the thin blacktop layer, causing potholes, soft spots and ultimately traffic disruption. The poor condition also makes it difficult for the borough to remove snow during winter storms. The reconstruction of these streets will increase the safety of vehicular traffic, as well as the property value of adjacent homes.

City of Allentown (435 Hamilton Street, Allentown, PA 18101)

• PROJECT: Ott Street Bridge Replacement

• ACCOUNT: FHWA - Transportation & Community & System Preservation-TCSP

• REQUEST: $500,000

• DESCRIPTION: This funding would be used to replace the Ott Street Bridge in the City of Allentown, a heavily used local bridge which is currently in a state of poor condition. Currently, the bridge is considered functionally obsolete and structurally deficient. It must be fully replaced to meet the area's traffic demands. Widening the through lanes and increasing structural capacity will alleviate local truck and resident traffic congestion. The designed replacement bridge will also address improvement in hydraulic flow of Cedar Creek, which flows under the bridge.

City of Bethlehem (10 E. Church Street, Bethlehem, PA 18018)

• PROJECT: Flood Control System Repairs

• ACCOUNT: FEMA – Pre-Disaster Mitigation

• REQUEST: $500,000

• DESCRIPTION: Funding will be used to restore electrical power and repair/replace the storm water pumps and related equipment at the City of Bethlehem Flood Control System, which was originally designed and constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers. The system is 45 years old and all of the major components have exceeded their expected life cycle. The electrical system is inoperable and must be replaced, and the pumps require substantial repair or replacement. In recent years, the Lehigh River basin has been prone to annual flooding. This project is a justified use of taxpayer dollars because it will restore flood protections to the former Bethlehem Steel site, one of the largest brownfields in the United States, the redevelopment of which is central to the economic development of the City and region. Specifically, restoration of the pumps would eliminate FEMA’s remapping and expansion of the flood plain which would require property owners to purchase costly flood insurance and potentially impact development.

City of Easton (1 South Third Street, Easton, PA 18042)

• PROJECT: Larry Holmes Drive Traffic Calming

• ACCOUNT: FHWA - Transportation & Community & System Preservation-TCSP

• REQUEST: $500,000

• DESCRIPTION: This funding will be used by the City of Easton to improve the traffic flow and safety of a Delaware River waterfront gateway between Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The project will enhance access to one of the only remaining steel truss suspension bridges in the nation near the City of Easton's National Register Historic District. These modifications will reduce vehicular speeds and benefit local economic development by allowing disabled pedestrians and bicyclists to more easily access adjacent trails and parks, and the city's downtown area.

Lehigh County Authority (1053 Spruce Street, P.O. Box 3348, Allentown, PA 18106)

• PROJECT: Vera Cruz Wastewater Collection System

• ACCOUNT: EPA – STAG Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Project

• REQUEST: $500,000

• DESCRIPTION: This funding will be used to build a wastewater collection system for the Vera Cruz area of Upper Milford Township. On-lot sewer disposal systems in the area are failing, causing environmental damage and public health concerns. The project will provide central sewer service to approximately 284 properties in the village of Vera Cruz and the surrounding area. Funds will be used for construction, engineering services and purchase of capacity in downstream transportation and treatment facilities.

Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority (LANTA) (1060 Lehigh Street, Allentown, PA 18103)

• PROJECT: Lehigh Valley Hybrid Transit Bus Purchase

• ACCOUNT: FTA - Buses and Bus Facilities

• REQUEST: $500,000

• DESCRIPTION: This funding will be used to support the purchase of twenty (20) heavy-duty, hybrid powered transit buses for the Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority (LANTA). The buses will replace vehicles purchased in 1998 in order to continue LANTA's expansion efforts. Service expansion over the last 10 years has been supported through a combination of timely bus fleet replacements and fleet expansions, resulting in an 80% increase in ridership, with 51% of those riders using the system to access jobs. An active service and equipment update program is necessary to support the demand to improve services in the growing Lehigh Valley region.

Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority (LANTA) (1060 Lehigh Street, Allentown, PA 18103)

• PROJECT: Lehigh Valley Bus Rapid Transit Analysis

• ACCOUNT: FTA - Alternatives Analysis

• REQUEST: $400,000

• DESCRIPTION: This funding will be used to conduct an analysis of the feasibility and components of a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) program along high density transit corridors within the Lehigh Valley by the Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority (LANTA). The investigation of BRT service is an outcome of a regional transit development planning process designed to establish a long term vision for regional transit, as well as short range development priorities. LANTA’s service expansion effort will be focused, to significant degree, on improving job accessibility. This is needed to support economic development and job growth within the Lehigh Valley, one of the fastest growing areas in the northeast region. This analysis is an essential part of a project development effort that could lead to a future comprehensive project.

Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority (LNAA) (3311 Airport Road, Allentown, PA 18109)

• PROJECT: Runway 13 and 31 Safety Area Improvements, Lehigh Valley International Airport (LVIA)

• ACCOUNT: FAA - Airport Improvement Program-AIP

• REQUEST: $1,000,000

• DESCRIPTION: This funding will be used by the Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority (LNAA) to construct a standard runway safety area for Runway 13, which abruptly drops 30 feet down to a local street. This segment of the project involves the first phase of constructing a bridge over the street, relocating utilities, modifying the approach lighting system and constructing an embankment. The project also includes the installation of EMAS technology on Runway 31. EMAS is a bed of lightweight, crushable concrete which is designed to stop an aircraft overrun with no human injury and minimal aircraft damage. The entire project is needed to meet Runway Safety Area standards established by the FAA in 1999.

Upper Pottsgrove Township (1409 Farmington Avenue, Pottstown, PA 19464)

• PROJECT: Upper Pottsgrove Sewer Upgrades

• ACCOUNT: EPA – STAG Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Project

• REQUEST: $500,000

• DESCRIPTION: This funding will be used for the design and implementation of sewer system upgrades and improvements to the Regal Oaks sanitary sewer system, a subdivision within Upper Pottsgrove Township. The project includes the rehabilitation of sewer pipes, construction of a new pumping station, and expansion of existing capacity needed to accommodate increased local development. The completion of this project will stabilize and potentially decrease sewer rates, and improve environmental conditions.