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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, March 18, 2013
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* Governor’s Environmental Award Winners Announced, To Be Honored April 17

The Pennsylvania Environmental Council announced Wednesday the award ceremonies for this year’s recipients of the 2013 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence will take place at an awards dinner on April 17 at the Hilton Harrisburg starting at 5 p.m.

* Keystone Fund Partners To Celebrate 20 Years Of Recreation, Conservation Grants

Keystone partners from across Pennsylvania along with Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Richard Allan and the original 1993 legislative champions will celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Keystone Recreation, Park & Conservation Fund at a special event in the Capitol Rotunda on March 18 starting at 1:30.

* 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--

* Senators Baker, Vogel Call On PEMA To Investigate Fracking Fluid Spill

Two state senators are calling on the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency to conduct an immediate review of a critical communications breakdown that occurred in Beaver and Lawrence Counties following the illegal dumping of thousands of gallons of fracking wastewater in Ohio.

* House Environmental Committee Holds Briefing On Nutrient Credit Trading

On Monday the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee held a briefing on the state’s Nutrient Credit Trading Program featuring testimony by the PA Infrastructure Investment Authority and Red Barn Consulting, a company involved in developing credit-worthy projects.

* House Consumer Affairs Committee Holds Briefing On Retail Natural Gas Distribution

On Wednesday, the House Consumer Affairs Committee held a briefing for members on retail natural gas distribution services in the Commonwealth.

* Senate Environmental Committee Holds Hearing On Bill To Quiet Mineral Rights Titles

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee will hold a public hearing March 19  on Senate Bill 258 (Yaw-R-Bradford) to help landowners address antiquated title problems related to subsurface ownership, according to Sen. Gene Yaw, Majority Chair of the Committee.

* March 18 Environmental Issues Forum To Address Conservation District Funding Issues

Robert Maiden, Executive Director of the PA Association of Conservation Districts, will be the guest speaker at the March 18 Environmental Issues Forum hosted by the Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee.

* Study Says Marcellus Drilling Will Raise Pollution Levels

Shale gas development can adversely affect surface water quality by increasing the downstream concentrations of two pollutants, chloride and total suspended solids, according to a study by scholars at Resources for the Future.

* Industry Uses For Acid Mine Drainage: Now Time To Speak Your Mind

The following article written by Andy McAllister, WPCAMR Regional Coordinator, appeared in this week’s Abandoned Mine Posts by the Western PA Coalition of Abandoned Mine Drainage.

* Sewickley Creek Watershed Association Presents Annual Awards

The Sewickley Creek Watershed Association was very pleased to present Yough High School, Westmoreland County, with this year’s Environmental Education Leader Award at its annual fundraiser banquet held March 9th at Giannilli’s II Restaurant in Greensburg. 

* New Cambria County Senior Environment Corps Seeking Volunteers

The Cambria County Conservation District is now sponsoring a county PA Senior Environment Corps Chapter in partnership with Nature Abounds, the statewide coordinator for the program.

* Workshops Planned On PennVEST Non-Point Source Project Application Process

The PA Association of Conservation Districts is offering two workshops aimed at helping people to better understand the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority Nonpoint Source Program Application process.

* CBF: Volunteers Needed For Stream Buffer Planting Projects

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Penn State Extension's Lower Susquehanna Initiative are inviting volunteers to help plant trees in seven stream buffer projects over the next few weeks.

* Managing Municipal Stormwater Workshops April 17-18 In Erie

Environment Erie is hosting a Managing Muncipal Stormwater Workshop on April 17-18 at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center in Erie.

* Stormwater As A Resource Workshop March 23 In Pottstown

The Green Valleys Watershed Association at Welkinweir in Pottstown, Montgomery County, is holding a workshop on March 23 entitled, "Stormwater As A Resource: Best Management Practices Modeling Nature."

* Elk, Jefferson, McKean County Water Suppliers April 2 Source Water Protection Meeting

The Department of Environmental Protection Friday announced a Source Water Protection Coalition roundtable with community leaders and advocates in Elk, Jefferson and McKean counties, as part of an effort to further protect local water supply sources.

* CBF Chesapeake Bay Watershed Photo Contest Now Accepting Entries

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation Wednesday announced its ninth annual watershed photo contest. Photo submissions are being accepted now through April 12.

* EPA Sets Water Quality Improvement Plan for Pine Creek, Allegheny County

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has established a water quality improvement plan for bacteria to protect public health and streams, creeks and a lake in the Pine Creek watershed in Allegheny County, Pa.

* Green City, Clean Waters, Future Of Philadelphia's Waterways March 21

The Bicentennial Town Square is sponsoring a presentation and discussion on Philadelphia's Green City, Clean Water initiative on March 21 at the Academy of Natural Sciences at Drexel starting at 5:30.

* McQuaide Blasko Funds ClearWater Conservancy GIS Internship

The State College office of McQuaide Blasko has funded ClearWater Conservancy’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Internship for the third straight year.

* Penn State Extension: What's Your Groundwater Awareness?

National groundwater awareness week is March 10-16 and this year’s theme is “Groundwater Awareness is Important to You!” Groundwater is important to every person, and there is something every person can do to be a good groundwater steward.

* PA Section-American Water Works Assn. Sets Training Sessions

The Water Works Association-PA Section has scheduled a series of training sessions in April and May.  Click Here for the latest schedule.

* Carnegie Mellon Researchers Urge Congress To Establish Shale Gas Initiative

A team of Carnegie Mellon University researchers visit Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday to encourage U.S. regional and state officials to establish a government-university- industry research and education initiative to inform the public about issues surrounding shale gas and the environment so the nation can better prepare for its energy future.

* 8th Women Environmental Professionals Conference April 11, Scholarships Available

The PA Chapter of the Society of Women Environmental Professionals will hold their annual Conference April 11 at the Conference Center at Central Penn College in Summerdale near Harrisburg.

* PA Waste Industry Looks To Block Westmoreland Township Waste Rules

The PA Waste Industries Association has asked the Westmoreland County Court of Common Pleas to issue a declaratory judgment to block a recently adopted “waste hauler registration program” in Unity Township.

* EPA Recognizes Brownfields Progress In Norristown

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Tuesday recognized Norristown, Montgomery County, for its efforts to revitalize brownfields sites for future development.

* PROP Offers Recycling Certification Courses

The PA Recycling Professionals and Keep PA Beautiful have teamed up to provide provide a new course on illegal dumping.  Click Here for an update on all recycling and composting professional certification courses.

* DEP Takes Award-Winning Exhibit To Erie Home And Garden Expo

The Department of Environmental Protection will display its new interactive “DEP at Home” exhibit during the Erie Home and Garden Expo at the Bayfront Convention Center through March 17.

* Philadelphia Ranks #11 In Number Of Energy Star Buildings Nationwide

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a list of U.S. metropolitan areas with the most Energy Star certified buildings in 2012, highlighting how owners and managers of commercial buildings across the country are taking action on climate change while delivering real financial savings to the bottom line.Philadelphia is ranked #11 with 174 buildings.  Los Angeles is #1 at 528.

* Liberty Property Trust Recognized As EPA Energy Star Partner

For the second consecutive year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has named Liberty Property Trust a 2013 Energy Star Partner of the Year for strategically managing and improving the energy efficiency of its office and industrial building portfolio.

* Chatham University, 5 Other PA Colleges Recognized By Tree Campus USA

Chatham University in Allegheny County and five other Pennsylvania colleges have been recognized as 2012 Tree Campus USA, the national Tree Campus USA program launched in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota Motor North America, Inc.

* PA Parks & Forests Foundation Spring Newsletter Now Available

The Spring 2013 newsletter of the PA Parks and Forests Foundation is now available featuring stories on places you’ll want to go, profiles of State Park and State Forest friends groups and much more.

* Corbett Declares March 17-23 Wildfire Prevention Week

Gov. Tom Corbett has proclaimed March 17-23 as Wildfire Prevention Week in Pennsylvania, noting warming temperatures and drying March winds have combined to increase fire dangers across Pennsylvania’s forests and brush lands.

* Friends Of Wissahickon Offers Trail Building Workshops

Want to learn more about trail building? The Friends of the Wissahickon is leading Volunteer Work Days and two Trail Building Workshops in Wissahickon Valley Park in March to improve trails at the Andorra Natural Area.

* Welcome The Spring Season March 23 At Hawk Mountain

Welcome the spring season and get outdoors at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary’s annual Spring Equinox Celebration on March 23, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in and around the Visitor Center.

* Applications Now Being Accepted For Existing Capital Budget Projects

Gov. Tom Corbett Friday announced the opening of the next Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program submission window. Project plan submissions will be accepted through close of business on April 15.

* Opportunity To Bid On DEP Mine Reclamation Projects in Indiana, Luzerne Counties

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice of an opportunity to bid on mine reclamation projects in Indiana County and Luzerne County.

* 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 Department of Conservation and Natural Resources published proposed regulations moving the ginseng harvest season from August 1 to September 1.

* 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:

* 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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