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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, July 15, 2013
(7/15/2013)
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* Chesapeake Bay States Make Progress In Meeting Milestones, But Not Enough

All the jurisdictions in the Chesapeake Bay region are making progress meeting pollution reduction goals, but no jurisdiction is on track to implement all the pollution reduction practices they committed to achieve by 2013.

* With Nearly $300 Million At Stake, House Returns Monday To Do Fiscal Code Bill

Budget Secretary Charles Zogby said Tuesday if the House does not concur in the Senate-amended Fiscal Code bill-- Senate Bill 591 (Vulakovich-D-Allegheny)-- by August 1, the General Fund budget could be as much as $300 million short of being balanced.

* Senate/House Agenda/Session Schedule (Updated)

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

* Bills On Governor's Desk

The following bills were given final approval by the Senate and House and are now on the Governor's desk for action--

* Op-Ed: State, Region Needs To Support Transportation Funding Plan

By Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming), Majority Chair Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee

* Registration Still Open For Ohio River Watershed Celebration September 19

Registration for the 12th Annual Ohio River Watershed Celebration is open for the Network Cruise.  The Imagination Cruise for students is already full. The Celebration will be held on September 19.

* Penn State: Volunteers Live-Up The Little Conewago Watershed

Planting season began early this year in the Conewago watershed as volunteers helped to plant "live stakes," along the Little Conewago Creek near Colebrook in March. Volunteers helped cut and plant live stakes that will help reduce erosion along the Little Conewago Creek in Lancaster, Lebanon and Dauphin counties.

* Susquehanna River Basin Commission Hearing On Comprehensive Plan Update Aug. 15

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission will hold a hearing on the 2013 update of the basin comprehensive plan in Room 8E-B East Wing, Capitol Building, Harrisburg starting at 3:00.  (formal notice)

* Schuylkill Action Network Seeks Photo Contest Entries

The Schuylkill Action Network kicked off its second-annual Schuylkill Shots Photo Contest this week and will be accepting entries on Facebook through October 30. 

* July/August Issue Of Chesapeake Bay Journal Now Available

The July/August issue of the Chesapeake Bay Journal is now available featuring articles on signing a new Bay agreement in the Fall, adaptive management of the Bay watershed and much more.

* Ohio River Water Sanitation Commission Holds Webinars, Hearing On Updated Standards

The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission will hold a hearing on revisions to pollution control standards related to mixing zones on August 13 at the Airport Holiday Inn, 1717 Airport Exchange Blvd., Erlanger, Kentucky starting at 4:30. (formal notice and background)

* Oil & Gas Technical Advisory Board Sets Meetings On Act 13 Drilling Reg Updates

The Department of Environmental Protection’s Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board will be convening subcommittees to discuss recommendations concerning the draft proposed rulemaking implementing the environmental protection provisions of the Act 13 Marcellus Shale drilling law in Chapter 78.  (formal notice)

* DRBC Chair Issues Statement On Commission’s Delay In Adopting Drilling Rules

Delaware River Basin Commission Chair Michele Siekerka (NJ) issued a statement at the Commission’s July 10 meeting responding to a variety of letters, including one from Gov. Corbett about the three year delay in adopting regulations covering Marcellus Shale drilling.

* DEP To Hold July 15 Webinar On Proposed Permit Public Participation Policy

The Department of Environmental Protection will hold a webinar on July 15 starting at 2:00 p.m. on the department’s recently published draft Policy on Public Participation in the Permit Review Process. 

* DEP To Remove Tanks From Two Abandoned Gas Stations In Erie County

The Department of Environmental Protection announced Thursday work will begin to remove underground petroleum storage tanks at the former Lakewood Shell on West 12th St., Millcreek Township, and the former Holiday Mart 99, on Sterrettania Road, McKean Township.

* Corbett Requests Federal Aid For Flooding In Western Pennsylvania

Gov. Tom Corbett Friday asked the U.S. Small Business Administration to declare the counties of Jefferson, Clearfield, and Fayette a disaster area because of recent flooding.

* Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Completes Statewide County Illegal Dump Survey

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful has released the reports for the final 6 counties from their Statewide Illegal Dumpsite Survey Program covering Lehigh, Northampton, Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne, and Wyoming. 

* Reminder: PA Resources Council Lens On Litter Photo Contest Entries Due October 31

Entries to the PA Resources Council Lens on Litter Photo Contest are due October 31 so be looking for your photo-worthy scenes that call attention to the litter problem in communities across Pennsylvania.

* Small Business Sustainable Business Designation Open In Southwest PA

From florists to bakeries, to salons, architecture and tax firms, small businesses in southwestern Pennsylvania will soon have the opportunity to become a designated Sustainable Small Business through the revamped Southwestern PA Sustainable Small Business Designation Program

* Chatham University Receives International Award For Sustainability Efforts

Chatham University President Esther L. Barazzone, Ph.D., accepted an award on June 19 from the International Sustainable Campus Network for excellence in integration at the fifth annual ISCN Sustainable Campus Excellence Award Ceremony.

* Electric Utilities, Industry Provides PUC Updates On Summer Electric Reliability

The Public Utility Commission Tuesday released the Summer Reliability reports from the state’s 11 electric distribution companies and other industry representatives. 

* FirstEnergy to Deactivate Two Coal-Fired Power Plants in Pennsylvania

FirstEnergy Corp. announced Tuesday it expects to deactivate two coal-fired power plants located in Pennsylvania by October 9, 2013. The decision is based on the cost of compliance with current and future environmental regulations in conjunction with the continued low market price for electricity.

* PPL Electric Utilities Has New Appliance Recycling Goal

PPL Electric Utilities customers have already recycled more than 55,000 appliances as part of the utility’s E-power appliance recycling program.  Now, the bar is being set higher.

* First Upper Delaware BioBlitz A Blast!

Despite torrential rains that left some roadways in Northern Wayne County impassable on June 28, teams of scientists and volunteers managed to make their way to Starlight, PA on time to commence a 24-hour collection period to catalogue as many life forms as possible during the first Upper Delaware BioBlitz.

* State Agencies Issue Alert To Contain Invasive Species In Lycoming County

After confirming the presence of the invasive aquatic algae known as didymo, or “rock snot,” in Pine Creek, Lycoming County, anglers and boaters are reminded that cleaning their gear is the easiest, most effective means of preventing its spread to other waters.

* PA Parks & Forests Foundation Launches 2013 Photography Contest

The PA Parks and Forests Foundation invites photographers to enter the 2013 Through the Seasons Photo Contest.  The deadline for submissions is September 5.

* Keystone Recreation, Park And Conservation Fund Report Available

The 2012-13 Keystone Recreation, Parks and Conservation Fund annual report is now available on DCNR’s website.

* PA Parks & Forests Foundation Summer Newsletter Now Available

The Summer 2013 issue of the PA Parks and Forests Foundation is now available.  Click Here to ready your copy now.

* DCNR Hearing On Wild Resource Conservation Program Grants August 13

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources published notice of an August 13 on FY 2013-14 Wild Resource Conservation Program Grants.  The hearing will be held in the 6th Floor Conference Room of the Rachel Carson Building in Harrisburg starting at 10:00.  (formal notice)

* Wild Resource Conservation Program Photo Contest Entries Due October 31

As part of its year-long public lands theme, DCNR’s Wild Resource Conservation Program is now accepting entries into its first ever Keystone Wild!Notes Photo Contest.  Entries are due October 31.

* PA Chapter American Chestnut Foundation Updates Website

The Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Chestnut Foundation this week unveiled its updated website providing even more information on its activities and initiatives in the Commonwealth, including volunteer opportunities.  Click Here to learn more.

* PennDOT/DCNR: Customers To Receive Snowmobile, ATV Renewals Faster

PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch and Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Acting Secretary Ellen Ferretti Tuesday announced customers will receive their ATV and snowmobile vehicle registration renewals two to four weeks faster through a new interagency partnership.

* Survey: Wildlife Watching Tops Fishing Or Hunting In PA Economic Contributions

The 2011 National Survey of Anglers, Hunters and Wildlife Watchers found that 4.6 million Pennsylvania residents and non-residents (16 years and older) fished, hunted or wildlife watched in Pennsylvania.

* Carl Roe, Game Commission Executive Director, To Retire

The Game Commission’s executive director has announced his plans to step down next year.  Upon his retirement in January, Carl G. Roe will have spent more than eight years heading the agency.

* State Archives To Honor Ralph W. Abele July 16

On July 16 at 2 p.m., a ceremony at the Pennsylvania State Archives will be held honoring former  Fish and Boat Commission Executive Director Ralph W. Abele (1921-1990).  The ceremony highlights the recent transfer of important archival records from the Fish and Boat Commission.

* Help Wanted: Delaware Estuary Partnership Director Of Development

The Partnership for the Delaware Estuary is seeking candidates to fill the position of Director of Development.  Resumes are due by July 31.  Click Here for details.

* Opportunity To Bid On DCNR Project In Sullivan County, DEP Project In McKean

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources published notice of an opportunity to bid on a construction project in Sullivan 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

No new regulations were published this week. Pennsylvania Bulletin - July 13, 2013

* 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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