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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, Sept. 16, 2013
(9/16/2013)
CLICK HERE To Print Entire Digest
* Federal Court Upholds Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Blueprint

Pennsylvania Federal Judge Sylvia Rambo Friday issued a ruling upholding Bay cleanup efforts, and rejecting the arguments of the Farm Bureau the National Homebuilders Association, and other big agriculture interests.

* Attorney General Files Criminal Charges Against XTO Energy Drilling Company

The Attorney General's Office Tuesday announced charges against a Pennsylvania subsidiary of ExxonMobil for illegally discharging more than 50,000 gallons of toxic wastewater from a Marcellus Shale gas well site in Penn Township, Lycoming County.

* DEP Cancels Oil & Gas Technical Advisory Board Subcommittee Meetings For Sept. 18-19

The Department of Environmental Protection published a notice in the September 14 PA Bulletin canceling the September 18-19 subcommittee meetings of the Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board due to be held in Harrisburg.

* DCNR Adds 7 Watersheds To Pennsylvania Rivers Conservation Registry

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources published notices in the September 14 PA Bulletin formally adding seven watersheds to the Pennsylvania Rivers Conservation Registry.  The watersheds include-

* September DEP Monthly Report To Citizens Advisory Council Now Available

This week the Department of Environmental Protection made available the September Monthly Report of key actions and initiatives within the agency to the DEP Citizens Advisory Council.  This report is well worth the time to catch up on items you may have missed. 

* 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 To Hold 2nd Hearing Sept. 17 On Controversial Endangered Species Bill

The House Game and Fisheries and Environmental Resources and Energy Committees will hold a  second hearing September 17 in Indiana, Pa on House Bill 1576 (Pyle-R-Armstrong) which fundamentally changes the way threatened and endangered species are listed and changes the designation process for wild trout streams.

* House Democrats Hold Hearing On Energy Issues In Greene County

The House Democratic Policy Committee will hold a hearing on energy issues in Greene County on September 16 which is expected to cover issues related to Marcellus Shale development, the coal industry and the potential of closing several coal-fired FirstEnergy power plants in Western Pennsylvania.

* Senate, House Reconvene Sept. 23 Facing Important Issues, Cabinet Appointments

The September 23 beginning of the fall legislative session for the Senate and House means they and Gov. Corbett will have several big issues to wrestle with left over from June-- liquor privatization, transportation funding and pension reform.

* DEP: Significant Improvement In Little Conemaugh From St. Michael Treatment Plant

The Department of Environmental Protection reported significant water quality improvement in the Little Conemaugh River this week as a result of a unique private-public partnership with the Rosebud Mining Company at St. Michael, Cambria County.

* Feature: Restoring American Chestnuts While Restoring Reclaimed PA Mine Lands

By Michael French and Don McCann

* DEP Awards $1.3 Million Mine Reclamation Contract In Clearfield County

The Department of Environmental Protection Tuesday announced it has awarded a $1,348,248 contract for the Alder Run West abandoned mine reclamation project in Graham and Morris townships, Clearfield County.

* Chesapeake Bay Foundation Environmental Leadership Training Oct. 8-Nov. 26

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA is now offering its first Environmental Leadership Training program this fall which will run from October 8 to November 26.  The initiative is part of the City Beautiful 2.0 movement.

* PennVEST, DEP Announce Results Of Forward Nutrient Credit Trading Auction

The Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority and the Department of Environmental Protection, along with financial information services company Markit, held their third "forward" auction on September 11 for the sale and purchase of nutrient credits in Pennsylvania's Chesapeake Bay watershed.

* September Chesapeake Bay Journal Now Available

The September issue of the Chesapeake Bay Journal is now available online.  Visit the Chesapeake Bay Journal website for not only the Journal, but blogs, travel, a calendar of events and other features.

* Delaware Estuary Partnership: Thousands To Toast The Coast Sept. 28

The Partnership for the Delaware Estuary is asking residents of the Delaware Valley to “Toast Your Coast” on September 28 in celebration of the 25th annual National Estuaries Day. 

* Stroud Center: Leaf Pack Experiment Stream Kit Connects Students With Nature

A partnership between Stroud Water Research Center and National Wildlife Federation is helping more students and teachers connect with nature and investigate their local stream ecosystems using the Leaf Pack Experiment Stream Ecology Kit.

* Celebrate The 10th Anniversary Of Whispers Along The Wissahickon Oct. 18

Join the Friends of the Wissahickon in Montgomery County on October 18 as they celebrate the tenth anniversary of Whispers Along the Wissahickon, the popular fall celebration that has become a fall tradition for many families in Philadelphia and its suburbs.

* DEP Urges Citizens To Take Action In Honor Of Protect Your Groundwater Day

The Department of Environmental Protection encourages the public to protect public health and the environment in celebration of “Protect Your Groundwater Day,” which was held on September 10.

* Western PA Conservancy Schedules French Creek Stream Restoration Project Sept. 22

Wear sturdy shoes, track down your work gloves and join the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy for a member workday and outing from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on September 22, at a WPC-conserved property along the French Creek in Crawford County.

* First Commercial Mitigation Bank Opening In Upper Susquehanna River

Resource Environmental Solutions, L.L.C. Tuesday announced the opening of the Upper Susquehanna River Mitigation Bank Phase 1.

* 137,429 Volunteers Collect 6.1 Million Pounds Of Trash In Great American Cleanup Of PA

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Friday announced the 2013 Great American Cleanup of PA collected 6.1 million pounds of trash and involved 137,429 volunteers in 4,928 events all across the state.

* Lake Erie Cleanup Seeks Volunteers To Inventory, Collect Trash September 21

The Department of Environmental Protection invites the public to improve the Lake Erie watershed on September 21 by participating in the 11th annual PA/Lake Erie International Coastal Cleanup.

* Little Tinicum Island Cleanup, Delaware County, September 28

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful and its partners are sponsoring an International Coastal Cleanup in Little Tinicum Island in the William Penn State Forest, Delaware County, on September 28.

* Penn State Extension: We All Need To Help Cleanup

Keep PA Beautiful County Representatives and PennDOT Adopt a Highway County Coordinators, recently held a joint meeting in State College, PA. These two groups do a tremendous service for all PA residents in the effort they put forth in cleaning up litter.

* DEP Meeting/Hearing On Bear Creek Area Chemical Site, Butler County Sept. 18

The Department of Environmental Protection will hold a public meeting and formal hearing in Karns City on September 18, concerning the cleanup of four disposal areas within the Bear Creek Area Chemical Site in Butler County.

* Proposed Increase In Oil And Gas Permit Fees Published For Comment

The Environmental Quality Board published proposed regulations increasing oil and gas well permit fees in the September 14 PA Bulletin for public comment.  The proposed regulations were just approved by the EQB for comment at the July 16 meeting, a near record for publication in the PA Bulletin.

* First Penn State Fall Webinar To Focus On Latest Marcellus Gas Estimates Sept. 19

The volume of natural gas reserves in the Marcellus Shale formation will be the subject of a web-based seminar offered by Penn State Extension.  The session, "Marcellus Reserves and Estimates Substantiated by Production Data," will run from 1 to 2 p.m. on September 19, and will feature Terry Engelder, Penn State professor of geosciences.

* 2013 Natural Gas Utilization Conference Held In Pittsburgh

Nearly 250 leaders in business, academia, law, engineering, government and beyond attended the Third Annual Penn State Natural Gas Utilization Conference, held in downtown Pittsburgh at the Omni William Penn Hotel this week.

* PUC Launches Investigation Of Retail Natural Gas Markets

The Public Utility Commission Thursday launched an investigation into the state’s retail natural gas market.

* PA Housing Finance Agency OKs First Marcellus-Funded Housing Grants

The Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency Friday approved the recipients of funding for projects to improve the availability and affordability of housing in the Marcellus Shale region of the state.

* Pittsburgh-Based PPG Launches New Energy Efficient Residential Glass Website

PPG Industries has launched a new residential glass website to help homeowners more easily shop for windows and window glass.

* EPA’s GreenChill Partnership Recognizes Weis Markets

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Monday Weis Markets, headquartered in Sunbury, Pa has won EPA’s GreenChill Distinguished Partner Award for leadership in refrigerant management and helping to protect the environment from harmful pollutants.

* PUC Chair Voices Concerns Over Closure Of FirstEnergy Power Plants

Public Utility Commission Chairman Friday expressed concerns about the impact of the closure of two southwestern Pennsylvania power plants as part of his testimony before the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee.

* PJM Sets Record September Peak Power Use This Week

Unusually hot weather this week created two of the highest electricity use days of the year in the 13-state region served by PJM Interconnection, operator of North America's largest electric power grid. Demand response, consumers' voluntary reduction in power use, played a vital role in keeping the power grid stable and air conditioners running.

* New DEP Online Tool Speeds Pre-Application Process For Permit Applicants

As part of its continuing effort to create a more efficient permit application procedure, DEP has developed an online Permit Application Consultation Tool.

* Wildlife For Everyone Remembers 9/11 Thru State Game Lands 93

The Wildlife for Everyone Foundation takes great pride in being one of the many partners, both public and private, to honor those who lost their lives 12 years ago.

* Volunteers Needed For Trail Work At The Andorra Natural Area, Montgomery County

The Friends of the Wissahickon are in need of volunteers to close a final section of unsustainable trail on September 21, at the Andorra Natural Area, home of the popular Wissahickon Environmental Center (Andorra Tree House).

* Tree Tenders Training Workshops Available In Southeast PA

The PA Horticultural Society has scheduled a series of Tree Tender training sessions in Southeast Pennsylvania over the next few months.  Click Here for a schedule.

* Western PA Conservancy September Newsletter Now Available

The September issue of Water, Land, Life newsletter from the Western PA Conservancy is now available.

* Fish & Boat Commission Big Spring Creek Workgroup Meeting Sept. 23 In Newville

The Fish and Boat Commission has scheduled a public workgroup meeting on September 23. This meeting is anticipated to set the course for the future, long-term management of Cumberland County’s Big Spring Creek.

* Wildlife For Everyone Endowment Foundation Partners With Save Colyer Lake

Just nine short years ago, Wildlife For Everyone Endowment Foundation was formed to make certain that what we have enjoyed as young people and adults will be here for our children and grandchildren. When meeting with the leadership of Save Colyer Lake, Inc., it was clear for WFEEF to become a partner with this project.

* Wildlife Art Show At Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Sept. 21-22

A dozen wildlife and nature artists will gather at the world-famous Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, Kempton, to exhibit and sell work at the Sanctuary's annual Hawk Mountain Art Show and Sale September 21-22 from 9 am to 5 pm. This event is free and open to the public and artists will display works in both the Visitor Center and Education Building. Volunteers will be on hand to assist in parking and guiding visitors to each location.

* Fish & Boat Commission Launches Currents Newsletter

The inaugural issue of the Fish and Boat Commission’s Currents monthly online newsletter arrived this week.  Click Here to see a copy and forward to others who might be interested.  For more information, contact Eric Levis, the editor of Currents, by sending email to: elevis@pa.gov.

* DRBC Executive Director Carol Collier To Retire In 2014

Delaware River Basin Commission Executive Director Carol R. Collier Thursday announced she will be retiring on March 12, 2014. The public was informed during the executive director's report presented at the commission's business meeting, which was held at the Mount Laurel Campus of Burlington County College.

* Dana Aunkst Named DEP Executive Deputy For Programs

Dana Aunkst was named recently to the position of Executive Deputy for Programs, but is still holding on to his previous job as Deputy for Field Operations.  The position was previously held by John Hines who left the agency in early 2012.

* Alisa Harris, DEP External Affairs Deputy, Leaves For New Position

Alisa Harris, DEP Deputy Secretary for External Affairs, has left the agency and will reportedly take a position in private industry.

* DEP Chief Counsel David Raphael Joins K&L Gates

The Harrisburg office of the law firm K&L Gates LLP Tuesday announced David Raphael will be joining the firm as a partner in its environment, land and natural resources practice. Raphael joins K&L Gates from the Department of Environmental Protection, where he served as Chief Counsel since 2011.

* Opportunity To Bid On DEP Well Plugging Projects In Jefferson County

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice of an opportunity to bid on well plugging projects in Jefferson County.

* DCNR Opportunity To Bid On Projects In Berks, Potter, Cameron, Lycoming Counties

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources published notice of an opportunity to bid on projects in Berks, Potter, Cameron, Lycoming counties.

* 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 Environmental Quality Board published proposed regulations for public comment increasing oil and gas well permit fees.  The proposed regulations were just approved by the EQB for comment at the July 16 meeting, a near record for publication in the PA Bulletin.

* 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.

* 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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