Scrapbook Photo 01/20/17 - U.N. Hears From Nature Abounds President On PA Volunteer Citizen Science Programs: https://goo.gl/QFKosk
Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, Jan. 23, 2017 Issue #656
(1/23/2017)
* Delaware River Basin Commission Lifts Basinwide Drought Watch

The Delaware River Basin Commission Wednesday announced the termination of its drought management special permit in effect since November 23, 2016, when the basin was placed in a drought watch.

* Chesapeake Bay Journal: Trump’s EPA Pick Vows To Enforce Chesapeake Bay Program

By Timothy B. Wheeler, Chesapeake Bay Journal

* U.N. Hears From Nature Abounds President On PA Volunteer Citizen Science Programs

Melinda Hughes, president of Clearfield County-based Nature Abounds, made a presentation at the United Nations European Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland on incorporating volunteers into citizen science programs.

* Apply For DCNR Conservation Partnership, Riparian Buffer Grants Starting Jan. 23

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will begin accepting applications for the next round of Community Conservation Partnership Grants January 23.  The grant round closes April 12. (formal notice)

* Senate/House Agenda/Session Schedule/Gov’s Schedule/ Bills Introduced

Here are the Senate and House Calendars and Committee meetings showing bills of interest as well as a list of new environmental bills introduced--

* Senate Republicans, Democrats Name Members Of Standing Committees

Senate Republicans and Democrats Friday named members of the standing committees to prepare for the new session.  Here are members of several key committees--

* Senate Environmental Committee Meets Jan. 24 On Natural Gas Royalty Reform Bills

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee is scheduled to meet January 24 on two bills introduced by Majority Chair Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming) to reform the way oil and natural gas royalties consider post-production costs.  The bills include--

* Sen. Vogel To Reintroduce Bill To Reduce Waste Reporting From Marcellus Gas Wells

Sen. Elder Vogel (R-Beaver) Tuesday circulated a co-sponsor memo to colleagues announcing the reintroduction of Senate Bill 1273 that would eliminate monthly reporting of drilling waste from Marcellus Shale operations and replace it with a report every six months.

* Senate Bill Would Take Time Away From DEP Permit Reviews, Without More Funding

On Tuesday, Sen. Elder Vogel (R-Beaver) announced plans to introduce legislation requiring the Department of Environmental Protection to provide electronic notice to all permit holders 60 days before a permit’s expiration telling them how laws, regulations and fees were changed since the original permit was issued.

* Pittsburgh Drinking Water Still 3 ppb Higher Than EPA Standard For Lead

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority Thursday released the results from December compliance testing for lead and copper required by state which show the 90th percentile value was 18 parts per billion, 3 parts higher than the federally accepted minimum of 15 ppb.

* Applications Being Accepted For Next Penn State Master Well Owner Course

If you are interested in learning more about the proper management of private water wells, springs and cisterns and you are willing to share what you learn with others, you might be interested in applying for the Penn State Master Well Owner Network online course being offered by Penn State Extension starting on February 13. 

* New DEP Rules For Chapter 105 Environmental Assessments For Pipeline, Multi-County Projects

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the January 21 PA Bulletin inviting comments on a new interim final guidance telling applications for large, multi-county projects, like pipelines or highways, how to do environmental assessments required under Chapter 105 Water Obstruction and Encroachment Permits.

* DEP Invites Comments On Proposed TMDL For Stony Run, Westmoreland County

The Department of Environmental Protection invites public comments on a proposed Total Maximum Daily Load Plan for Stony Run in Derry Township, Westmoreland County (PA Bulletin, page 358).

* January Catalyst Newsletter Now Available From Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition

The January issue of The Catalyst newsletter is now available from the Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition in Butler County featuring articles on--

* Jan. 17 Watershed Winds Newsletter Available From Penn State Extension

The January 17 Watershed Winds newsletter is now available from Penn State Extension featuring articles on--

* Center For Watershed Protection National Watershed & Stormwater Conference April 4

The Center for Watershed Protection will host the 2017 National Watershed & Stormwater Conference on April 4.  Participants have the option to attend the Conference online or at a regulation hub location-- Baltimore is included.

* EPA Accepting Entries For Groundwater Awareness Week Video Challenge

The U.S. Environmental Protection will be accepting entries to its first ever National Groundwater Awareness Week Video Challenge from February 1 to 24 to submit original videos about understanding, protecting and conserving groundwater.

* DEP: Study Shows No Changes Needed To Make Gas Drilling In Deep Mining Areas Safer

The Department of Environmental Protection announced Thursday it has reviewed a study proposing changes to existing requirements for coal mine pillars as well as alternative methods for constructing natural gas wells where coal is mined underground.

* Keep PA Beautiful Urges Adoption Of Local Roads, Parks, Other Areas To Fight Litter

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful invites local residents, organizations, civic groups, and businesses to join programs to adopt local areas, such as municipal roads, communities, parks, neighborhood blocks, greenways, waterways and trails to keep them litter free.

* PA Environmental Professionals Accepting Nominations For Karl Mason, Walter Lyon Awards

The PA Association of Environmental Professionals is now accepting nominations for the 2016 Karl Mason and Walter Lyon Awards.  The deadline for nominations is March 3.

* Women Environmental Professionals-Capital Conference April 13, Summerdale

The Society of Women Environmental Professionals - Capital Chapter will hold its annual conference on April 13 at the Central Penn College’s Conference Center in Summerdale, Cumberland County, near Harrisburg.

* Women Environmental Professionals-Philly Accepting College Scholarship Applications

The Greater Philadelphia Chapter of the Society of Women Environmental Professionals is now accepting applications for two college scholarships for women to pursue environmental careers. 

* Dominion’s Project Plant It! Education, Tree Planting Program Now Available

Online enrollment for Project Plant It!, the free environmental education program created by Dominion Resources to teach children about the important role of trees in the ecosystem, is now open across regions served by Dominion.

* PennEast Pipeline Announces STEM Education Grants Program

PennEast Pipeline Company Monday announced a new Powering STEM Grant Program to help nonprofits promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Programs.  Applications are due February 17.

* Dominion To Provide Environmental Education, Stewardship Grants In Service Areas

Dominion Resources announced Wednesday it will once again provide $1 million in environmental grants this year through its charitable arm, the Dominion Foundation, in its service territories.  The deadline for applications is March 1.

* Wildlife Leadership Academy Seeks Students For Youth Conservation Ambassadors

The Wildlife Leadership Academy in Lewisburg, Union County, has opened its exclusive Youth Conservation Ambassador nomination process to the public and is currently seeking referrals of motivated students ages 14 to 17 to become Certified Conservation Ambassadors.

* Nominations Being Accepted For President’s Environmental Youth Award

The President’s Environmental Youth Award Program is now accepting nominations for the 2017 winners.  The deadline is March 1.

* Deadlines For PEMA Student Severe Weather Poster, Video Contests Coming Up

The PA Emergency Management Agency is accepting submissions from students in grades 1 through 12 for a poster and video public service announcement contest featuring weather safety messages.

* Interns Wanted: Gifford Pinchot’s Grey Towers Offers College Internships

Applications currently are being accepted for a number of different summer internships at Gifford Pinchot’s Grey Towers National Historic Site, Milford, Pike County.

* DEP Sets March 1 Hearing For PennEast Pipeline Compressor Station In Carbon County

The Department of Environmental Protection has scheduled a hearing for March 1 on the air quality permit for the PennEast Pipeline compressor station to be located in Kidder Township, Carbon County. (PA Bulletin page 325)

* Help Available For Vehicle Fleet Owners To Maximize Benefits Of Using Alternative Fuels

The Department of Environmental Protection is now accepting applications from vehicle fleet owners who are interested in maximizing the economic and environmental benefits of alternative fuel use in vehicle fleets.  (formal notice)

* Delaware Valley Green Building Council Philly 2030 Initiative To Reduce Energy Use 50%

The Delaware Valley Green Building Council Wednesday announced in PlanPhilly it is leading the formation of Philadelphia 2030, a private sector-led initiative to reduce energy use, water consumption, and transportation-related emissions from the building sector 50 percent by 2030 at a district scale.

* FirstEnergy’s PA Utilities Offer Demand Response Program For Business Customers

FirstEnergy Corp.'s Met-Ed, Penn Power and West Penn Power are now offering commercial and industrial customers a Demand Response Program that provides financial incentives to businesses that curtail their energy use when requested by the utility during peak hours. 

* PUC OKs Lower Rate Hikes For FirstEnergy: Penn Power, West Penn, Met-Ed, Penelec

The Public Utility Commission Thursday approved joint settlements for lower rate increases than originally requested by FirstEnergy Corp. for its four Pennsylvania subsidiaries:  Metropolitan Edison Company, Pennsylvania Electric Company, Pennsylvania Power Company, and West Penn Power Company. 

* FirstEnergy To Sell Natural Gas, Hydro Assets In PA, VA

FirstEnergy Corp. Thursday announced it has entered into an agreement to sell four natural gas electric generating plants in Pennsylvania and its competitive portion of a Virginia hydroelectric power station to a subsidiary of LS Power Equity Partners III, LP, of New York. 

* DEP Issues Water Quality Certification For Emsworth Locks & Dam Hydro Project

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the January 21 PA Bulletin it has issued a Section 401 Water Quality Certification for the 24-megawatt Emsworth Locks and Dam hydroelectric project in Allegheny County (page 354).

* UGI Penn Natural Gas Requests Service Delivery Increase Of Nearly 11 Percent

UGI Penn Natural Gas Thursday filed a request with the Public Utility Commission to increase its base rates for residential, commercial and industrial customers by $21.7 million annually or 10.6 percent for the average residential customer.

* 88 New Jobs Created By Xpress Natural Gas Fueling Station In Susquehanna County

Gov. Tom Wolf Thursday announced Xpress Natural Gas, LLC will construct a commercial compressed natural gas fueling station in Susquehanna County and create 88 new, high-wage jobs.

* January 20 DEP News Now Available

The January 20 edition of DEP News is now available from the Department of Environmental Protection featuring articles on--

* PA Environmental Council Environment Ride 2017 Set For June 2-4

The PA Environmental Council will hold its 2017 PEC Environment Ride in Southeast PA on June 2 to 4.

* State Park Fees For Camping, Swimming Pools, Reservations Increase Feb. 1

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources published notice in the January 21 PA Bulletin of revisions to the schedule of fees charged for certain activities in state parks.

* DCNR, Partners Mark Return Of Skiing To Laurel Mountain Resort In Westmoreland

With skiers and snowboarders descending the slopes before her after a 10-year absence, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn Thursday joined Seven Springs Mountain Resort Chairman Robert Nutting and Bureau of State Parks officials in celebrating the reopening of Laurel Mountain Ski Resort at Laurel Mountain State Park, near Ligonier, Westmoreland County.

* DCNR’s Conservation And Natural Resources Advisory Council Meets Jan. 25

DCNR’s Conservation and Natural Resources Advisory Council is scheduled to meet on January 25 to discuss, among other agenda items, DCNR’s Path To Sustainability.

* Central PA Conservancy Protects 500 Acres On The Kittatinny Ridge, Perry County

The Central PA Conservancy recorded a conservation easement with Perry County landowner Matthew Rice, permanently preserving 500 acres of forested ridge habitat on the Kittatinny or Blue Mountain.

* Natural Lands Trust Preserves 25.3 Acres In Delaware County

James A. Miller wanted to protect his land in memory of his late wife. On November 15th, 2016, Natural Lands Trust helped him achieve his vision with a conservation easement on his 25-acre property on Lenni Road in Chester Heights.

* Delaware Highlands Conservancy: Shawnee Inn Guests Donate To Protect Land

On January 17, staff at the Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort in Monroe County,  proudly presented Delaware Highlands Conservancy staff and board with a check for $13,412 for donations collected through participation in the Green Lodging Partnership program in 2016.

* Nature Conservancy’s Mike Eckley Wins Natural Resource Education Champion Award

The PA Chapter of the Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals awarded its 2016 Natural Resource Education Champion Award to The Nature Conservancy-PA’s Mike Eckley of Williamsport, Lycoming County.

* 21st Annual Northwestern PA Forest Landowners Conference Jan. 28 In Edinboro

The 21st Annual Northwestern PA Forest Landowner Conference will be held on January 28 at the Edinboro-McKean V.F.W. Post 740, 10613 Route 98, Edinboro.

* Foundation For Sustainable Forests Hosts Woods & Waters Film Series In NW

The Foundation for Sustainable Forests and the French Creek Valley Conservancy are hosting an Our Woods & Waters Film Series in January 27, February 24 and March 31 in Northwest Pennsylvania. 

* Penn State: Common Crop Chemical Leaves Bees Susceptible To Deadly Viruses

A chemical that is thought to be safe and is, therefore, widely used on crops — such as almonds, wine grapes and tree fruits — to boost the performance of pesticides, makes honey bee larvae significantly more susceptible to a deadly virus, according to researchers at Penn State and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

* CBF-PA Names Lane Whigham Outreach & Advocacy Manager In Pennsylvania

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA Thursday announced it has named Lane Whigham as its Pennsylvania Outreach and Advocacy Manager.

* Hannah Smith-Brubaker Named ED Of PA Assn. For Sustainable Agriculture

On January 23, Hannah Smith-Brubaker will become the new Executive Director of the PA Association for Sustainable Agriculture

* Westmoreland Land Trust Names Mary Tate First Executive Director

The Westmoreland Land Trust Friday announced it has named Mary Tate as the organization’s first executive director.

* DEP Opportunity To Bid On Mine Reclamation Project In Indiana County

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the January 21 PA Bulletin of an opportunity to bid on a mine reclamation project in Indiana County.

* Public Participation Opportunities/Calendar Of Events

This section lists House and Senate Committee meetings, DEP and other public hearings and meetings and other interesting environmental events.

* Grants & Awards

This section gives you a heads up on upcoming deadlines for awards and grants and other recognition programs.  NEW means new from last week.

* Environmental NewsClips - All Topics

Here are NewsClips from around the state on all environmental topics, including General Environment, Budget, Marcellus Shale, Watershed Protection and much more.

* Regulations, Technical Guidance & Permits

The Delaware River Basin Commission published notice in the January 21 PA Bulletin of final regulations setting a new program fee schedule.

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* Stories Invited

Send your stories, photos and links to videos about your project, environmental issues or programs for publication in the PA Environment Digest to:  DHess@CrisciAssociates.com.

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