HARRISBURG - The application period for seven programs administered by the Commonwealth Financing Authority opened March 21 and runs through July 21, state Sen. John Gordner reported. The programs are funded by impact fees paid by natural gas drilling companies in the Marcellus Shale region.

- The Abandoned Mine Drainage Abatement and Treatment Program, which helps prevent one of the largest sources of stream impairment in Pennsylvania by financing mine drainage remediation projects,

- The Flood Mitigation Program, which funds projects authorized by a flood protection authority, the Department of Environmental Protection, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers or the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service,

- The Baseline Water Quality Data Program, which funds water sample collection and analysis to document existing groundwater quality conditions on private water supplies,

- The Orphan or Abandoned Well Plugging Program, which provides a mechanism to address wells that have the potential to cause health, safety or environmental concerns,

- The Sewage Facilities Program, which provides assistance with costs associated with the planning work required under Act 537,

- The Watershed Restoration and Protection Program, which helps restore and maintain stream reaches impaired by the uncontrolled discharge of nonpoint source polluted runoff.

- The Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program, which finances the planning, acquisition, development, rehabilitation and repair of greenways, recreational trails, open space, parks and beautification projects.

Eligible applicants may include municipalities, councils of government, institutions of higher education, watershed organizations and other authorized organizations. More information on the programs is available by calling 717-787-6245 or visiting www.newpa.com.