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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, Sept. 2, 2013
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* EQB Approves Proposed Update Of Drilling Regulations For Public Comment

The Department of Environmental Protection Tuesday announced the Environmental Quality Board voted 16 to 2 to approve proposed regulation changes to strengthen environmental protection performance standards associated with oil and gas drilling activities.  The changes were required by Act 13 drilling law passed in 2012.

* PEC Expresses Opposition To Bills Changing Endangered Species Protection

The PA Environmental Council Monday expressed its opposition to House Bill 1576 (Pyle-R-Armstrong) which would fundamentally change the review and designation of threatened and endangered species in Pennsylvania.

* 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--

* House Committees Hear Significant Opposition To Endangered Species Legislation

House Bill 1576 (Pyle-R-Armstrong) which would standardize the state process for designating species of fish, wildlife or plants as threatened or endangered, as well as for designating waters as wild trout streams, was  he subject of a hearing Monday by members of the House Game and Fisheries Committee, along with members of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, according to Rep. Jeff Pyle the bill’s prime sponsor.

* Sen. Yaw Pleased With Natural Gas Royalty Court Settlement

A class action lawsuit involving natural gas royalty owners who negotiated lease agreements that prohibited the deduction of post-production costs from drilling royalty payments was resolved by mutual agreement Friday in the Middle District Court of Pennsylvania, according to Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming).

* Rep. Saccone Bill To End Moratorium On Drilling In State Forest Lands

Rep. Rick Saccone (R-Allegheny) this week circulated a memo asking House members to co-sponsor legislation he plans to introduce to end the moratorium on drilling for natural gas on State Forest land and put the proceeds into a special fund to replace or repair deficient highway bridges across the state.  The text of the memo follows--

* Spots Still Available For Ohio River Watershed Celebration September 19

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

* Reserve Your Seat Now For The Experience The Delaware Estuary Celebration Oct. 3

The Experience the Estuary Celebration is the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary's largest fundraising event of the year. The theme of this “friend-raiser” changes annually, but the certainty of a great evening remains the same.

* PA Coal Alliance Announces Reclamation Award Winners

The Pennsylvania Coal Alliance recognized the reclamation efforts of seven of its member companies at its Seven Springs Annual Banquet on August 21.

* Natural Lands Trust Recruiting For Hands-On Force Of Nature Volunteer Program

Natural Lands Trust Tuesday announced it is recruiting for the third class in its “Force of Nature” volunteer training program, designed to educate and train participants to serve as volunteer project leaders and ambassadors for the regional land conservation organization.

* Applications Being Accepted For Next Penn State Master Well Owner Course

If you are interested in learning more about the proper management of private water wells, springs and cisterns and you are willing to share what you learn with others, you might be interested in applying for the Penn State Master Well Owner online course being offered by Penn State Extension starting on September 30.

* Susquehanna River Towns Workshop Set For Sept. 30

Looking to make your Susquehanna River town more resistant to future flooding? Interested in learning how rain gardens, pervious pavements, other green infrastructure can help your community to meet its stormwater goals? Want to hear from successful land acquisition programs, learn about stormwater utilities and how to fund these different projects?

* Kiski River Wade In Cleanup Set For September 14 In Armstrong County

The Kiski Watershed Association, Keep PA Beautiful and other partners will sponsor a Kiski River Wade in Cleanup on September 14 near Avonmore in Armstrong County starting at 9:00 a.m.

* Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Recognizes PennDOT Adopt-A-Highway Coordinators

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful recognized key PennDOT Adopt-A-Highway Coordinators with a certificate recognizing their outstanding and dedicated service to keep our communities clean and beautiful through their support of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful local affiliates during the 2013 Great American Cleanup of Pennsylvania.

* Cambria, Huntingdon, Juniata, Mifflin, Perry KPB Affiliates To Hold Tire Collections

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful local affiliates of Keep Cambria County Beautiful, Keep Huntingdon County Beautiful, Keep Juniata County Beautiful, PA CleanWays of Mifflin County, and Keep Perry County Beautiful are gearing up to hold their annual fall tire collections.

* Covanta Energy Signs 20 Year New York City Waste Disposal Agreement

Covanta Energy, a world leader in sustainable waste management and renewable energy, Monday announced a new 20-year agreement with New York City Department of Sanitation to transport and sustainably dispose of municipal solid waste delivered to a pair of marine transfer stations located in Queens and Manhattan.

* State Awards $335,225 Grant For Brownfields Cleanup In City Of Chester

Gov. Tom Corbett Friday announced the awarding of an Industrial Sites Reuse Program grant to Chester Redevelopment Authority for the cleanup of environmental contamination at the former Sears Department Store and Automotive Center located in the city of Chester, Delaware County.

* PEMA: Get Ready For Emergencies During National Preparedness Month

State officials Friday urged Pennsylvanians that during National Preparedness Month in September, they should take steps to get their families ready to face and survive an emergency.

* CONSOL Energy, Allegheny County Outline Airport Drilling Plans

CONSOL Energy Inc. and the Allegheny County Airport Authority shared their proposed drilling plan for the Pittsburgh International Airport property at a news conference on Tuesday.

* DEP Releases Air Sampling Results For Lycoming Natural Gas Compressor Station

The Department of Environmental Protection Thursday released results of a short-term air sampling effort conducted near the Barto Compressor Station in Penn Township, Lycoming County.  Sample analyses found no emission levels of nitrogen dioxide that would pose a health concern.

* DEP Establishes Keystone Energy Education Program, Workshops To Be Scheduled

The Department of Environmental Protection Monday announced the creation of the Keystone Energy Education Program (KEEP) to teach and track energy efficiency in school buildings and homes.

* Low-Income Pennsylvanians To Receive Additional Help With Home Energy Bills

The Department of Public Welfare Tuesday announced extra financial help will be provided to Pennsylvanians who received the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, crisis grant during the 2012-13 heating season.

* CONSOL Power Up Program Will Donate $10,000 To Winning School In PA, Ohio

High schools in Pennsylvania and Ohio will have the chance to win $10,000 during the 2013-2014 school year, courtesy of CONSOL Energy Inc. and its new CONSOL Power Up Contest

* PUC Updates Manual On Energy Efficiency, Demand Side Response

The Public Utility Commission Thursday tentatively approved an updated Technical Reference Manual, which is used to assess energy savings attributable to energy efficiency and demand response measures for the implementation of the state’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards of Act 213 (AEPS) and the energy efficiency and conservation provisions of Act 129 of 2008.

* PPL: Federal Court Dismisses Lawsuit Challenging Susquehanna-Roseland Power Line

PPL Electric Utilities called a federal judge's decision to dismiss a lawsuit challenging federal permits for the Susquehanna-Roseland power line "the right decision for millions of people throughout the mid-Atlantic region who will have more reliable electric service because of this project."

* Deadline Extended For DEP Small Business Advantage Grants

The Department of Environmental Protection Thursday announced the deadline for Pennsylvania small-business owners to apply for DEP's Small Business Advantage Grants has been extended to October 8.

* Lt. Gov Says Federal Climate Change Policy Costing Jobs In Indiana County

Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley Tuesday toured Specialty Tires of America in Indiana and learned how the White House’s “Climate Change Plan” is hindering efforts to create jobs there.

* CONSOL Energy's Enlow Fork Mine Earns Mine Rescue Win

CONSOL Energy's Enlow Fork Gold team won first place overall honors in the Hatfield & McCoy Mine Rescue Safety competition held recently in Pikeville, Ky.  The Enlow Fork deep mine is located in Washington and Greene counties.

* DCNR Offers Public Online Survey On State Forest Management

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Acting Secretary Ellen Ferretti Monday invited the public to take an online survey to inform the Bureau of Forestry as it prepares an update to the State Forest Resource Management Plan.

* Accessibility Day For Wounded Warriors, Families At Pinchot State Park Sept. 7

Kayaking, biking, fishing and other outdoor activities don’t have to be off-limits for Pennsylvania’s wounded service members and veterans, thanks to a special event from the Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation and Gifford Pinchot State Park in York County.

* Next South Mountain Speaker Program To Focus On Bees, Pollinators Sept. 12

Bees, wasps and other pollinators will be the topic of the next lecture in the South Mountain Speakers Series on September 12, at Wilson College in Franklin County.

* Labor Day Kicks Off Century Of Elk In Pennsylvania

Year after year, Labor Day weekend kicks off a period of increased activity on Pennsylvania's elk range.

* September PA Wilds Newsletter Now Available

The September issue of the PA Wilds News from the outdoor recreation industry in the PA Wilds Region is now available.

* Opportunity To Bid On DEP Well Plugging Project In Venango County

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice of an opportunity to bid on a oil and gas well plugging project in Venango County.

* Jay Moyer Appointed DEP Small Business Ombudsman

The Department of Environmental Protection has appointed Jay R. Moyer as its Small Business Ombudsman who serves as the primary advocate for small businesses within DEP.

* 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 Public Utility Commission published a final order related to transmission service charge reconciliation (PA Bulletin page 5045).

* 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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