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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, July 29, 2013
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* Advisory Board Says DEP Chapter 78 Drilling Rule Changes Not Ready For Public Review

On July 18 the Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board wrote to the Department of Environmental Protection recommending DEP not publish the proposed Chapter 78 Marcellus Shale regulation changes required by Act 13 for public comment because they are not fully developed.

* DCNR Meets With Stakeholders On Potential Loyalsock State Forest Drilling

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources staff met Wednesday with representatives of several statewide organizations at their request to discuss DCNR’s role in protecting the natural and recreational resources in the Loyalsock State Forest, Lycoming County, where it does not own the subsurface rights.

* Senate/House Agenda/Session Schedule

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

* Rep. Baker Testifies At Congressional Hearing On PA Natural Gas Production

Friday Rep. Matt Baker (R-Tioga) testified before the Congressional Natural Gas Caucus during a field hearing in Williamsport to discuss the economic impacts of natural gas production in the Marcellus Shale region.

* Sen. Kasunic Urges PUC To Weigh In On Closure Of Coal-Fired Power Plants

Sen. Richard A. Kasunic (D-Somerset) sent a letter Wednesday to Robert Powelson, chairman of the state Public Utility Commission, protesting FirstEnergy Corporation’s decision to close two area power stations.

* July Environmental Synopsis Available From Joint Conservation Committee

The July issue of the Environmental Synopsis from the Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee is now available.

* DEP Extends Comment Period On Proposed Permit Review Public Participation Policy

The Department of Environmental Protection Monday announced an extension of the public comment period for its draft Public Participation Policy for the Permit Review Process. The policy is open for public comment until Aug. 27.

* Chesapeake Bay Trust Mini Grant Education Program Apps Due August 9

The Chesapeake Bay Trust is now accepting applications for the Mini Grant Environmental Education Program until August 9.

* Delaware Source Water Collaborative Hosts August 15 Webinar On Christina Watershed

The Delaware River Basin Source Water Collaborative is hosting a free webinar featuring the City of Wilmington’s and United Water Delaware’s local partnership approaches to protecting drinking water in the Christina Basin on August 15 from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.

* PennVEST, DEP Announce September 11 Nutrient Credit Trading Auction

The Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority and the Department of Environmental Protection announced Friday they will host an auction September 11 for the sale and purchase of nutrient credits in the Susquehanna and Potomac watersheds.

* Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA Summer Newsletter Now Available

The Summer 2013 newsletter from the Pennsylvania Office of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation is now available.  Click Here to read a copy.  Click Here to sign up for your own copy by email.

* Applications Now Being Accepted For REAP Farm Conservation Tax Credits

Pennsylvania farmers can take advantage of nearly $7 million in tax credits to purchase on-farm conservation equipment or install facilities meeting best management practice standards through the Resource Enhancement and Protection Farm Conservation Tax Credit, or the REAP program.

* Penn State Ag Progress Days Set For August 13-15

This year’s Penn State Ag Progress Days will be held on August 13-15 and features the latest technology and research exhibits, educational programs on farm conservation and guided tours at the Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center at Rock Springs, nine miles southwest of State College, Pa.

* Penn State: Chemicals From Parking Lots Causing Water Pollution

Parking-lot sealcoat is the black liquid you see sprayed or painted on many parking lots, driveways, and playgrounds. Intended as a barrier to protect paved surfaces from the elements, which can cause cracking during freezing weather, they contain extremely elevated levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

* $2 Million Grant Awarded To Replace Contaminated Water Supplies In Montgomery

Gov. Tom Corbett Thursday announced a $2 million grant has been awarded to New Hanover Township, Montgomery County, to extend public water to area residents whose groundwater is contaminated.

* CBF: Green Infrastructure In The City Of Harrisburg

Since the beginning of 2013, the Pennsylvania Office of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation has been working with community leaders young and old to green-up Pennsylvania's capital, Harrisburg.

* PA Section American Water Works Assn. Sets Fall Training Schedule, Conference

The PA Section of the American Water Works Association has scheduled a variety of helpful training opportunities for drinking water and wastewater system operators this Fall.

* 10,000 Friends: Gov. Ridge, Norristown Project Win Smart Growth Awards

10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania, the state’s leading Smart Growth advocacy organization, recognized Arbor Heights in Norristown as an exemplary “smart growth” residential development in Pennsylvania at its annual Commonwealth Awards ceremony. 

* EPA, Chesapeake Bay Trust Award Green Towns Grants

The Chesapeake Bay Trust and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Wednesday announced $400,000 in funding to seven municipalities and nonprofit organizations through the Green Streets, Green Jobs, Green Towns Initiative (G3).

* Call For Presentations PSATS 2014 Conference April 13-16

The PA State Association of Township Supervisors has issued a call for presentations for its annual Educational Conference and Trade Show to be held at the Hershey Lodge on April 13-16, 2014.

* Court: PUC Should Stop Reviewing Local Ordinances Under Act 13

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court Thursday let stand a Commonwealth Court order requiring the Public Utility Commission to discontinue the review of local ordinances under the Act 13 Marcellus Shale drilling law.

* PA Congressman Introduces Bill To Close Natural Gas Regulation Loophole

Thursday, U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright (D) introduced the Closing Loopholes and Ending Arbitrary and Needless Evasion of Regulations (CLEANER) Act along with Rep. Jared Huffman (CA-2). 

* Corbett Requests Federal Disaster Assistance To Aid Local Governments

Gov. Tom Corbett Friday asked the federal government to provide disaster aid that will help governments and certain non-profit organizations recover from powerful storm damage and significant flooding that began in late June.

* State Offers Free Potassium Iodide Tablets Near Nuclear Power Plants

The Department of Health will provide free potassium iodide tablets August 8 to Pennsylvanians who live, work or attend school within a 10-mile radius of one of the state's five nuclear power plants.

* Check West Nile Virus Hot Zones Map For Areas Of Concern Near You

West Nile Virus and mosquito season are in full swing and the departments of Health and Environmental Protection are beginning to get test results back showing areas of higher risk for West Nile Virus infections.

* Star Gazers' Stone At ChesLen Preserve Recognized For Its Role In Colonial History

The Star Gazers’ Stone in the Natural Land Trust’s ChesLen Preserve in Coatesville, Pa is an unassuming quartzite rock measuring no more than 18 inches in height, but it played an outsized role in the political fates of our nation.

* ECO Camp Again Points Students Toward Rewarding Environmental Careers

Addressing an audience roughly one-third her age, Ellen Ferretti faced the not-so-easy task of establishing common ground with her young listeners. She nailed it with just a few simple sentences:

* Feature: DCNR Forest Firefighters Return From Alaska

He had just traveled over 3,000 miles and now he was facing a drive through six or seven counties before he was home, and still Thomas Erdman was gracious with answers when questions were asked. John Hecker could not wait to get home to see his family, but still he waited a little bit more.

* National Forestry Group Honors DCNR's Rachel Reyna

Accomplishment in rural and community forestry and personal achievement as a member of a national professional organization have earned a DCNR Bureau of Forestry employee prestigious honors from the Society of American Foresters.

* Kathryn Klaber Leaving PA Marcellus Shale Coalition

After nearly four years of leading the Marcellus Shale Coalition, CEO Kathryn Klaber, along with the organization’s executive board, are pleased to announce their efforts to begin a nationwide search to identify the organization’s next leader.

* CBF Names Ruth Sitler Pennsylvania Senior Scientist

The Pennsylvania Office of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation this week welcomed its new Senior Scientist, Ruth Sitler, to the team.

* Jeff Skelding Named Executive Director Friends Of Upper Delaware

The board of directors of the Friends of the Upper Delaware River announced Wednesday Jeff Skelding has been named the group’s first executive director.

* 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 27, 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:

* 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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