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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
December 20, 2004
PDF Version - PA Environment Digest 12/20/04
* Happy Holidays and Have a Healthy New Year!
From David E. Hess, Editor, and everyone at Holston & Crisci.
* New Digest Website to Serve You Better!
Holston & Crisci is very pleased to let you know we have opened the website to make getting the Digest faster and easier.
* Senate Leaders Respond to Administration Claims on Hazardous Sites Funding
Senate Republicans responded this week to comments made by Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Kathleen McGinty regarding DEP’s reported inability to clean up contaminated sites across Pennsylvania. (PEDigest 12/13/04)
* Mid-Year Budget Briefing for Legislators Outlines Challenges for Next Year
Gov. Rendell’s Budget Secretary Michael Masch gave legislators their mid-year briefing on the state budget this week. Although General Fund revenues are about 2.1 percent ahead of projections, the Secretary outlined some budget “challenges” ahead.
* Rendell Holds Another Signing of Advanced Energy Portfolio Standards Bill
Gov. Rendell went to BJ’s Wholesale Outlet in Montgomery County this week to hold a third bill signing for the Advanced Energy Portfolio Standard legislation – Senate Bill 1030 sponsored by Sen. Erickson (R-Delaware) in the Senate and Rep. Ross (R-Chester) in the House.
* Senate Republicans Change Fish & Game, Law & Justice, Health Other Chairs
The Senate Republicans announced their line-up of committee chairs for the next session. The changes were:
* Supreme Court Decision on Superfund May Impact Voluntary Cleanups
This week the United States Supreme Court decided the case of Cooper Industries, Inc. v. Aviall Services, Inc. In a decision that reversed nearly 20years of judicial precedent the Court held that Section113(f) of CERCLA (commonly referred to as Superfund) did not allow a responsible party performing a “voluntary” cleanup to sue another responsible party for contribution. The Court decided that unless the remediating party had itself been subject to a “civil action” by the United States it could not sue another responsible party for a share of the cleanup costs. In other words, unless the government is taking action against you to force remediation you may not file a claim against another party.
* Philadelphia First PA Municipality to Adopt ENERGYSTAR Guidelines
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this week recognized the City of Philadelphia for its expanding its commitment to environmental protection through energy efficiency in affordable housing construction projects.
* Children’s Health Protection Information Now Available
The study design for the Children's Environmental Exposure Research Study (CHEERS) has been reviewed for scientific merit and ethical standards.
* Online Image Project Paints Picture of Sustainable World
What is sustainability? The usual definition is something that meets the needs of the present, yet doesn't hurt future generations' ability to meet their needs. We're more likely to create a sustainable future if we can imagine what it would look like, but few have tried to paint a visual picture of this goal. Until now.
* Pennsylvania Preserves 23 More Farms
The Department of Agriculture announced this week that an additional 23 farms, totaling 2,322 acres were preserved during the State Farmland Preservation Board Meeting in Harrisburg. These farms join more than 2,500 others already preserved in perpetuity through the program.
* Grant Applications Due April 7 for Solid Waste Resource Recovery Projects
The Department of Environmental Protection will accept grant applications for Solid Waste Resource Recovery Demonstration Grants from counties, municipalities and authorities now through April 7.
* Reminder: Reimbursement Forms Due for Host Municipal Landfill Inspectors
The Department of Environmental Protection will accept 2004 Host Municipality Inspector Program Reimbursements applications through March 31.
* Stormwater Manual
DEP Schedules Regional Stormwater Manual Focus Groups
* Students Celebrate 30th Anniversary of Safe Drinking Water Act
Students at St. Denis Elementary School, Montgomery County, helped the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency celebrate the 30th anniversary of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.
* 352 Miles of Migratory Fish Spawning Habitat Opened in Chesapeake Bay
The Chesapeake Bay Program reopened 352 miles of spawning habitat in the tributary states of Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and District of Columbia this year to migratory fish - surpassing the Chesapeake Bay Program’s five-year goal of 1,357-miles.
* SRBC Summarizes Hydrologic Conditions and Flooding in 2004
The Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) this week reported that for the second year in a row, near record-setting precipitation amounts resulted in streamflow and soil moisture levels being much above normal. Groundwater levels also were above normal. SRBC presented this hydrologic summary during its quarterly business meeting in North East, Maryland.
* Penn State Expert Says Climate Change Likely Benefit to PA agriculture
To date, most research associated with global climate change has focused on determining whether it really is happening, and trying to gauge how much -- and how fast -- average temperatures and precipitation levels will change.
* EPA Makes Final Nonattainment Designations for Particulate Matter
This week the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency notified twenty of the final nonattainment area designations for fine particle (PM2.5) air quality standards. While the great majority of the nation’s counties meet the new health-based standards, all or part of 225 counties nationwide, as well as the District of Columbia, are not in attainment with the standards.
* New Energy and Technology Chief Named in Southwest DEP Office
Margaret M. Hall was named Chief of the Office of Energy and Technology Development for the Southwestern Regional Office. Her goals include forming partnerships between DEP and businesses in the southwest region and highlighting the importance of energy in our economy and assisting sectors, such as manufacturing, in saving money through energy management.
* Op-Ed: Advancing Renewable and Alternative Energy in Pennsylvania By Senator Ray Musto
Energy is essential for modern economies. It is the basis for technological and economic development. It has also become an integral component of our national security.
* Quick Clips
A sampling of NewsClips from across the state on a variety of environmental issues.
* Taking Positive Action - 200 Food Lion Stores Have Earned the ENERGY STAR Label
More than 200 Food Lion stores in eight states, including Pennsylvania, have earned the prestigious ENERGY STAR designation from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
* Dry Cleaner Saves Energy, Money
Green Valley Dry Cleaners Reduces Energy Costs
* Watershed NewsClips
A sampling of NewsClips from around the state on watershed issues.
* Regulations
The latest on regulations from the Independent Regulatory Review Commission, Delaware River Basin Commission and other environmental agencies.
* Technical Guidance & Permits
The latest on Fish & Boat Commission and DEP policy actions.
* Calendar of Events
Upcoming conferences, meetings and events, plus links to other calendars.
* Contributions Invited
Send your stories about environmental issues, programs and positive actions to PA Environment Digest - or go to .

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