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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, April 22, 2013
(4/22/2013)
CLICK HERE To Print Entire Digest
* High School Students Compete In PA State Envirothon May 21-22

Teams of high school students from 66 counties are expected to participate in the two-day Pennsylvania Envirothon on May 21 and 22 at Juniata College, Huntingdon County. 

* Five To Receive Western PA Environmental Awards May 23

Five environmental protection and conservation programs from throughout Western Pennsylvania will share $25,000 from Dominion and the Pennsylvania Environmental Council for innovation and effectiveness in making a positive impact on the Western Pennsylvania environment.

* Chris Abruzzo Takes Over As Interim DEP Secretary

E. Christopher Abruzzo, Deputy Chief of Staff for Gov. Tom Corbett, took over this week as Acting Secretary for the Department of Environmental Protection.  He is expected to hold the position until Gov. Corbett names a new Secretary.

* 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--

* Sen. Rafferty, Transportation Chairs, PennDOT Secretary Unveil Funding Proposal

Senate Transportation Committee Chairman John Rafferty (R-Montgomery) Tuesday was joined by Secretary of Transportation Barry Schoch and the three other chairmen of the Senate and House Transportation Committees-- Sen. John Wozniak (D-Cambria), Minority Senate Chair, Rep. Dick Hess (R-Bedford), Majority House Chair, Rep. Michael McGeehan (D-Philadelphia) Minority House Chair-- to unveil his $2.5 billion proposal to fund Pennsylvania's transportation needs.

* House Environmental Committee Held Hearing On Water Well Standards Bill

The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee held a hearing on House Bill 343 (Miller-R-York) setting standards for drinking water wells on Wednesday.

* Alternative Energy Production Tax Credit On House Environmental Committee Agenda

The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee is scheduled to meet on April 24 to consider House Bill 1171 (Dunbar-R-Westmoreland) repealing the Alternative Energy Production Tax Credit.

* April Environmental Synopsis Newsletter Now Available

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

* PUC Briefs DEP Citizens Advisory Council On Drilling Fee Revenue, Disbursements

PUC Commissioner Pamela Witmer briefed members of DEP’s Citizens Advisory Council Tuesday on Marcellus Shale drilling fee revenues collected and disbursed by the Public Utility Commission over the last two fee cycles.

* DEP Advisory Committee To Consider New Drilling Reg Draft, Revised Permit Fees

DEP’s Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board will meet on April 23 to consider a new draft of the Chapter 78 drilling regulation changes required by Act 13 of last year and a new proposal to change the drilling permit fees proposed by the department.

* Celebrate Earth Day By Helping To Clean Up The Mon River - PA’s River Of The Year

For ten years, The Tireless Project, a collaborative program of Allegheny CleanWays, Friends of the Riverfront, Artful Trash Management/RiverCubes.net, REI, Three Rivers Rowing Association, and Venture Outdoors, has been providing riverfront cleanup opportunities that help volunteers build deeper connections to the waterways of Allegheny County. 

* DEP Presents Reforestation Awards April 22 To Schuylkill County, Pittsburgh Groups

Department of Environmental Protection Deputy Secretary for Active and Abandoned Mine Operations John Stefanko will present the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative’s 2012 State Awards on Earth Day, April 22, at DEP’s headquarters in Harrisburg.

* ARIPPA Offers Abandoned Mine Reclamation Grants

Now in its fourth year, the Western and Eastern Coalitions for Abandoned Mine Reclamation partnered with the Anthracite Region  Independent Power Producer's Association to offer a competitive grants to watershed organizations working on Abandoned Mine Land and/or  Abandoned Mine Drainage remediation projects.

* DEP Holds 2nd Webinar, Extends Comment Period On On-lot Septic System Review Policy

The Department of Environmental Protection announced Thursday it will accept comments for an additional 30 days on draft technical guidance describing how onlot sewage disposal systems can be sited in watersheds that are designated high-quality and exceptional value. The comment period, which was originally slated to close May 1, will be open through June 3.

* EQB OKs Water Quality Standards Without Molybdenum, Chlorides

On Tuesday the Environmental Quality Board approved updated water quality standards, but without standards for molybdenum, chlorides, sulfates and 1-4 dioxane which have been controversial.

* Susquehanna River Forum Set For May 8 On Smallmouth Bass, Water Quality Issues

Do you care about the health of the Susquehanna River, smallmouth bass, and the role that local water quality plays in our health, communities, economies, and quality of life?

* Deadline Extended To Register For August Trout Unlimited River Researchers Teen Camp

The deadline has been extended to May 1 to register for Trout Unlimited’s Eastern Abandoned Mine Program ‘s River Researchers Teen Camp for students ages 14-17.

* West Branch Susquehanna River Sojourn May 14-19

The Susquehanna Greenway Partnership will hold the West Branch Susquehanna River Sojourn on May 14-19.  Registration is now open for this special event.  Click Here for more information.

* USGS: High Arsenic Levels Found In 8% Of Groundwater Wells Studied In PA

Eight percent of more than 5,000 wells tested across Pennsylvania contain groundwater with levels of arsenic at or above federal standards set for public drinking water, while an additional 12 percent – though not exceeding standards – show elevated levels of arsenic.

* DEP To Begin Black Fly Aerial Spray Program On April 22

The Department of Environmental Protection will begin its annual black fly control aerial spray program on April 22, starting with nearly 120 stream and river miles in four eastern counties.

* Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Receives Grant To Continue Cigarette Litter Program

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful announced Monday they received a $15,000 grant from Keep America Beautiful to continue their work with the Keep America Beautiful Cigarette Litter Prevention Program. 

* Riverside West Elementary Once Again Statewide Recycling Competition Champion

In October 2012, “GreenSylvania,” a statewide school paper recycling competition, was held in conjunction with Keep America Beautiful’s Recycle-Bowl that included 36 participating schools from across the Commonwealth.

* Lancaster County Achieves 43 Percent Recycling Rate In 2012

The Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority announced Monday the county achieved a new record for community-wide recycling of 43 percent of its municipal solid waste in 2012.

* Centre County Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event April 26-27

Here's your chance to rid your home of old or unwanted hazardous chemicals and be sure they are properly disposed.

* ECOvanta Achieves e-Stewards Certification For Electronics Recycling

Basel Action Network, an environmental organization and the creator of the e-Stewards certification, announced Thursday ECOvanta, the electronic waste (e-waste) recycling subsidiary of Covanta Energy Corporation located in Philadelphia, has achieved e-Stewards certification.

* DEP Announces April 23 Hearing On Bucks County Site Cleanup

The Department of Environmental Protection will hold a public hearing April 23, to receive public comments on the cleanup of the Rapid Circuits site in Levittown, Bucks County.

* EPA: Companies Agree To Improve Safety At Natural Gas Operations

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Tuesday announced two separate settlements with companies that have agreed to improve operation of their natural gas facilities in western Pennsylvania.

* Muhlenberg College Poll Finds Public Concerned About Health Impacts Of Fracking

A poll commissioned by the Allentown Morning Call and conducted by the Muhlenberg College  Institute of Public Opinion and Public Health Program this week found 41 percent of respondents said the fracking process poses a major or moderate risk to the health of Pennsylvania residents, while 29 percent said it represented a minor risk.  Nine percent said it posed no risk and 19 percent were not sure.

* PUC, Energy Associations Host Workshop On Natural Gas Vehicle Market

The Public Utility Commission and the Energy Association of Pennsylvania Thursday hosted a workshop focusing on the natural gas distribution company  and Commission roles in fostering the economic development and the expansion of the necessary infrastructure for natural gas vehicles.

* Corbett Cuts Ribbon At Waste Management's CNG Refueling Facility In Bucks County

Gov. Tom Corbett Friday attended a ribbon cutting for Waste Management's new compressed natural gas (CNG) refueling facility in Bristol, Bucks County.

* April 25 Webinar On Possible Loyalsock State Forest Natural Gas Development

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources officials will participate in a free, web-based seminar offered by Penn State Extension on Marcellus Shale issues in the Loyalsock State Forest, Lycoming County, on April 25.

* DEP Energy Conservation Code Workshop May 2 In Luzerne County

The Department of Environmental Protection invites code enforcement officials, builders, contractors and designers to a May 2 training workshop in Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County, on the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code.

* Penn Takes Top Honors In EPA's Green Power Challenge

The University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia has finished in first place in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s nationwide College and University Green Power Challenge.

* DCNR Announces Statewide Expansion Of TreeVitalize Program

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Richard Allan Monday announced the Corbett Administration is expanding TreeVitalize, a popular and successful community tree-planting and education program.

* ClearWater Conservancy’s Legends Fly-Fishing Clinic Raises Funds For Restoration

ClearWater Conservancy’s Third Annual Penn State Legends Fly-Fishing Clinic, held recently on Spruce Creek in Huntingdon County, raised $18,000 for an ambitious stream restoration project on a headwater tributary in the watershed.

* EPA, American Rivers Preserve 135 Acres Of Forestland In Adams County

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and American Rivers Friday announced the Land Conservancy of Adams County will permanently preserve 135 acres of forest through a conservation easement on lands owned by Boyer Nurseries and Orchards in Biglersville, Pa.

* Pennsylvania Adds 18 Farms, Nearly 1,500 Acres To Preservation Program

Pennsylvania’s Agricultural Land Preservation Board Thursday protected 1,493 additional acres on 18 farms in 12 counties from development through the state’s nationally renowned farmland preservation program.

* Pledge To Fledge A New Birder At Hawk Mountain April 27-28

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary joins a partnership on six continents in a pledge to introduce new people to birds and birding during Pledge to Fledge Weekend on April 27 and 28.

* PA Wilds Announces Winners Of Champion Awards

A small group of business owners, citizens and organizations from across the 13 county Pennsylvania Wilds region have earned awards for their contributions in sustainable tourism development and will be honored at a awards dinner and regional tourism briefing May 2.

* Opportunity To Bid On DCNR State Park, Forest Projects

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources published notice of an opportunity to bid on State Park and Forest projects in Fayette, Fulton, Northumberland counties.

* Help Wanted: Western PA Conservancy Seeks 3 Watershed Interns

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is seeking three summer interns for the Watershed Conservation Program based in Indiana, Pa.  The deadline to apply is May 8.

* 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

On Tuesday the Environmental Quality Board approved updated water quality standards, but without standards for molybdenum, chlorides, sulfates and 1-4 dioxane which have been controversial.

* 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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