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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates Jan. 28, 2013
(1/28/2013)
CLICK HERE To Print Entire Digest
* Growing Leaner: Shrinking Commitment To The Environment Over Last 10 Years

On February 5 Gov. Corbett will present his FY 2013-14 budget proposal to the General Assembly outlining how he would spend the $28 billion or so in General Fund tax revenue received by the Commonwealth.

* Corbett Will Now Roll Out Transportation Funding Plan Feb. 5

The Associated Press reported Wednesday Gov. Corbett has decided to roll out his proposed transportation funding plan on February 5 with the budget, rather than go ahead with a special announcement.

* Senate/House Agenda/Session 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/House Bills Moving

The following bills of interest saw action this week in the House and Senate--

* Senate Environmental Committee Reports Gas Well, Stormwater, EQB Bills

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee met Wednesday and reported out legislation on oil and gas well royalties and rights, authorizing PennVEST to fund stormwater and non-point source projects and a bill to provide independent counsel to the Environmental Quality Board.  The bills include--

* Bill Introduced On Disclosure Of Water Sampling Results

Rep. Jesse White (D-Westmoreland) introduced legislation this week that would require the Department of Environmental Protection to disclose the full and complete testing results, including raw data and documentation, of any environmental tests conducted by the department on a landowner’s or leaseholder’s property in Pennsylvania.

* Bill Mandating Radon Testing In Schools Introduced

Rep. Tim Briggs (D-Montgomery) announced Tuesday he is reintroducing legislation that would require radon testing in schools, as well as educate and inform parents and guardians of the levels of radon gas in their child’s classroom.

* House Democrats Outline Issues Coming Up In Committee

House Democrats this week sent out a list of issues they believe will come before each Committee in the House along with an invitation to a February 13 “meet and greet” with Democratic Leaders and Committee Chairs.

* House Democratic Policy Committee Holds Jan. 29 Hearing On Renewable Energy

The House Democratic Policy Committee holds a hearing on January 29 in Bryn Mawr on renewable energy legislation- House Bill 100 (Vitali-D-Delaware) increasing the amount of renewable energy utilities must purchase (not online).

* January Environmental Synopsis Now Available From Joint Conservation Committee

The January issue of the Environmental Synopsis published by the Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee is now available.

* Create Watershed Hero Trading Cards To Recognize Local Volunteers

The PA Abandoned Mine Reclamation Conference Planning Committee wants to recognize you and other Pennsylvania volunteers as part of this year's 15th Anniversary of the Conference.

* Abstracts Wanted For PA Abandoned Mine Reclamation Conference Aug. 8-10

The planning committee for the 2013 PA Abandoned Mine Reclamation Conference is inviting proposals for presentations.  Proposals are due March 29.

* Reps Daley, Harhai Salute Launch Of Washington County Mine Reclamation Project

Rep. Peter J. Daley (D-Washington) and Rep. Ted Harhai (D-Westmoreland) Friday hailed the imminent start of reclamation efforts at the Mathies Mine in Washington County.

* Water Resources Education Network Now Accepting Grant Applications

The PA League of Women Voters Water Resources Education Network is now accepting applications for its 2013 round of grants for watershed education, source water protection and WREN Opportunity Grants. Applications are due March 22.

* PennVEST, DEP Set March 20 Nutrient Credit Trading Auction

The PA Infrastructure Investment Authority and the Department of Environmental Protection announced today they will host an auction March 20 for the sale and purchase of nutrient credits in the Susquehanna and Potomac watersheds.

* Joint Budget Committee Looks At Competition To Reduce Chesapeake Bay Pollution

The Joint Legislative Budget and Finance Committee released a report Tuesday took a very general look at how competition might help reduce the cost of eliminating pollution from Pennsylvania going to the Chesapeake Bay without looking at many of the logistical and legal details involved or the potential impact on individual farmers.

* PennVEST Provides $7 Million To Finance Green Infrastructure In Lancaster

The PA Infrastructure Investment Authority and the City of Lancaster have finalized an agreement allowing for the investment of $7 million to finance green infrastructure projects at sites throughout the city.

* PA American Water Opens 2013 Protect Our Watersheds Student Art Contest

Pennsylvania American Water announced Wednesday entries are now being accepted for its 11th Annual “Protect Our Watersheds” Art Contest.  The deadline for submissions is March 29.

* PUC Seeks Comments On Proposed Unaccounted-For Water Regulations

The Public Utility Commission Thursday sought comments on an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for regulations regarding unaccounted-for water (Docket No. L-2012-2319361).

* Penn State: Snow- Good For Groundwater?

It is the middle of winter and most likely water pollution, droughts, and groundwater levels are not things that you are thinking about right now. For most people these things tend to be more “warm weather” topics…but should they be?

* Wissahicken Watershed Association Names Miranda Executive Director

The Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association is delighted to welcome Dennis Miranda as the new Executive Director, beginning on February 4. Dennis is a passionate conservationist, avid birder and trail expert with a broad grasp of environmental issues.

* $82 Million In Water Infrastructure Financing Awarded In 5 Counties

Gov. Tom Corbett Tuesday announced the investment of $82 million in seven drinking water and wastewater projects in five counties through the PA Infrastructure Investment Authority.

* DEP Announces Comprehensive Oil and Gas Development Radiation Study

At the direction of Gov. Corbett, the Department of Environmental Protection announced Thursday it will undertake a study to look at naturally occurring levels of radioactivity in by-products associated with oil and natural gas development.

* PA League Of Women Voters Releases Report On Natural Gas Pipeline Safety

The League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania Wednesday released findings of a study addressing the safety of natural gas pipelines.

* Emergency Planning/Response Rules Published For Marcellus Shale Operations

The Environmental Quality Board and PA Emergency Management Agency published final omitted/emergency rulemaking on January 26 covering Emergency Response Planning at Unconventional Well Sites.  (PA Bulletin page 526)

* SRBC Sets Feb. 14 Hearing On Water Withdrawal Requests

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission will hold a public hearing on February 14 on a series of water withdrawal requests. (formal notice/agenda)

* Senators Pileggi, Yaw Discuss Bill To Expand Use Of Natural Gas

In a podcast released Friday, Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-Delaware) and Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Bradford), Majority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, discuss proposed legislation to facilitate the expansion, distribution and use of Pennsylvania-produced natural gas.  Click Here to listen to the podcast.

* PA American Water Rolls Out New Fleet Powered By CNG

Pennsylvania American Water officials joined with Speaker of the House Sam Smith (R-Jefferson) and Department of Environmental Protection officials Friday to mark the company’s launch of a compressed natural gas (CNG) pilot for its vehicle fleet.

* Registration Now Open For 2013 Great American Cleanup Of PA

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful announced registration is now open for the 2013 Great American Cleanup of PA.  Event coordinators can visit the Great American Cleanup of PA website to register their event. 

* Counties Want Recycling Fees, Unresolved Marcellus Issues Addressed

The County Commissioners Association of PA Wednesday unveiled the association’s 2013 legislative priorities.

* DEP Inviting Applications For Section 902 Recycling Grants

The Department of Environmental Protection is now accepting applications for Section 902 recycling grants. Applications are due May 31. (PA Bulletin page 580)

* MRAB To DEP: Start Drafting Regs Implementing Mining Law Passed In October

Members of the DEP Mining and Reclamation Advisory Board wrote to Secretary Michael Krancer on January 16 asking him to start the drafting of regulations to implement a law passed last October to give mining operators additional options to provide financial guarantees for land reclamation Act 157 - House Bill 1813.

* Venango County Refinery Cleanup Ushers In New Round Of Development

The Department of Environmental Protection announced Wednesday remediation is complete at the former Rouseville Refinery in Rouseville Borough, Venango County.

* FirstEnergy Awards $110,000 To PA Schools In Ways 2 Save Electricity Video Contest

The results of the “Ways 2 Save Electricity” video contest sponsored by Met-Ed, Penelec and West Penn Power are in, and the judges agree that when it comes to creative ways to educate Pennsylvania residents on conserving electricity, middle, junior and senior high school students across the state are great teachers.

* DEP Reissues Invitation To Bid On Energy Education Curriculum Service Contractor

The Department of Environmental Protection is seeking the services of an experienced contractor to coordinate a statewide K-12 Energy Education Curriculum Integration Program.  The program must be completed by June 30, 2014.

* DEP Extends Alternative Fuel Vehicle Rebate Program Until Funding Gone

The Department of Environmental Protection announced Wednesday the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Rebate Program will be extended once it reaches its milestone of awarding 500 $3,500 rebates for large-battery system plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and battery-electric vehicles. (formal notice)

* Residential, Commercial Rebates Still Available For Solar Energy Projects

The Department of Environmental Protection announced January 26 $7.25 million in rebates are still available to residents and small businesses through the PA Sunshine Rebate Program.  DEP also outlined changes affecting solar installers.  (formal notice)

* Free FirstEnergy Energy Performance Contracting Webinar January 30

FirstEnergy will host another in its series of free webinars on January 30 starting at 12:00 on Energy Performance Contracting Best Practices.

* SEPTA Releases Sustainability Annual Report For 2013

SEPTA Wednesday released its Sustainability Annual Report, which details the Authority's progress on its efforts to pursue a "triple bottom-line" strategy to become environmentally, socially and economically sustainable.

* Save The Date: PA Environmental Professionals Conference May 8-10

The PA Association of Environmental Professionals will hold their annual conference on May 8-10 at the Toftrees Resort & Conference Center in State College.  The Association has also issued a call for presentations.  Check back to the PAEP website for more conference updates.

* PA Parks & Forest Foundation Recognizes Award Winners At May 7 Dinner

The PA Parks and Forest Foundation will honor the 2013 award winners at its annual dinner on May 7 in Harrisburg.  The awards recognize individuals and organizations for their outstanding service and exemplary work on behalf of Pennsylvania’s State Parks and Forests.

* Conservation Landscape Summit Draws On Experience, Connections

Armed with success stories, questions and project ideas, more than 200 people descended on Harrisburg January 14-15 for the Conservation Landscape Summit to learn how communities are using their natural assets to drive local conservation, planning and community economic revitalization efforts.

* Rainforest Alliance Recertifies Management Of Pennsylvania’s State Forests

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources released the results of an independent review team’s annual study of state forestlands Tuesday, affirming the state’s efforts to conserve resources through sound management.

* Statewide Conference For Private Forestland Owners Set For May 10

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will cosponsor a first-ever private forest landowner conference focusing on conservation and management of privately owned woodlands across the state. The two-day event begins May 10 at the Blair County Convention Center, Altoona.

* Preservation Of More Than 130 Acres By Natural Lands Trust

Natural Lands Trust Monday announced it preserved a total of 134 acres in Chester and Delaware counties in the closing weeks of 2012.

* DCNR Bureau Of Forestry Applauded For Hurricane Sandy Efforts

It’s a drill DCNR’s Bureau of Forestry’s Division of Forest Fire Protection knows so well: alert, feed, house and transport would-be firefighters from their Harrisburg mobilization center to infernos charring distant states like California, Nevada or Utah.

* Fish & Boat Commission Presents Inaugural Resource First Award, Other Annual Awards

As part of its quarterly business meeting Wednesday and Thursday, the Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) presented various awards to staff and partners.

* Game Commission Urges Participation In Great Backyard Bird Count

Game Commission officials are encouraging bird and nature fans throughout the state to join tens of thousands of everyday North American bird watchers for the 2013 Great Backyard Bird Count February 15-18.

* Bluebird Nest Boxes Help Pennsylvanians Connect With Wildlife

If you are interested in connecting with wildlife in your own backyard, beginning January 28, the Game Commission will be selling bluebird nesting boxes at its Harrisburg headquarters at 2001 Elmerton Avenue. 

* DCNR Invites Bids On State Park Projects In Bradford, Clinton, Lycoming Counties

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources published a notice inviting bids on State Park projects in Bradford, Clinton and Lycoming counties.

* Help Wanted: Allegheny County Conservation District Manager

The Allegheny County Conservation District is seeking candidates to fill the District Manager position.  The deadline for resumes is February 14.  Send resumes, or for a detailed job description and candidate profile, send email to: williamlafe@gmail.com or call 412 871-0399.

* Help Wanted: 2 Performance Systems Development Energy Efficiency Coordinators

Performance System Development, which provides a whole-systems approach to EE strategies through our work on advancing energy policies, designing and delivering cost-effective EE programs, and building software tools to improve data tracking and reporting, is seeking to fill two positions.

* Your 2 Cents: Issues On Advisory Committee Agendas

This section gives you a continuously updated thumbnail sketch of issues to be considered in upcoming advisory committee meetings where the agendas have been released

* 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.

* Budget/Quick Clips

Here's a selection of NewClips on environmental topics from around the state--

* Marcellus Shale NewsClips

Here are NewsClips on topics related to Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling---

* Flooding/Watershed NewsClips

Here are NewsClips on watershed topics from around the state--

* Regulations, Technical Guidance & Permits

The Environmental Quality Board published a notice of final omitted/emergency rulemaking on Emergency Response Planning at Unconventional Well Sites adopted by the Board in November (PA Bulletin page 526).

* Calendar Of Events

Upcoming legislative meetings, conferences, workshops, plus links to other online calendars.  Meetings are in Harrisburg unless otherwise noted.  NEW means new from last week.  Go to the online Calendar webpage.

* 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.

* Supporting Member PA Outdoor Writers Assn./PA Trout Unlimited

PA Environment Digest is a supporting member of the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association, Pennsylvania Council Trout Unlimited and the Doc Fritchey Chapter Trout Unlimited.

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