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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, Oct. 14, 2013
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* Pennsylvania Celebrates 25th Anniversary Of Farmland Preservation Program

Pennsylvania celebrated a milestone Thursday as it marked the 25th anniversary of the nation’s most successful farmland preservation program. Pennsylvania’s program secures the state’s agricultural future by saving the farms of the past.

* American Farmland Trust Honors Franklin County Farmer With Local Hero Award

Franklin County farmer John Koons, Sr. was honored Thursday with a Local Hero Award from the American Farmland Trust (AFT) and the Pennsylvania Farmland Preservation Association for his more than 60 years of dedication to his dairy farm, farmland preservation and land conservation.

* Growing Greener Coalition Marks 25th Anniversary Of Farmland Preservation Program

The Pennsylvania Growing Greener Coalition Thursday congratulated the Department of Agriculture on the 25th anniversary of the state’s Farmland Preservation Program.

* Flood Recovery Info, Federal Shutdown Has Not Closed Stream Gages Yet

Records amounts of rain in the center part of the state are causing stream and some river flooding in Pennsylvania.  Listen to local media in your area for the latest results.  You can also also keep track of current flooding conditions by going to the NOAA Mid-Atlantic Current River Forecasts webpage.  (It was not closed due to the federal shutdown.)

* 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--

* PA Farm Bureau Joins In Appeal Of Federal Chesapeake Bay Standards Decision

Pennsylvania Farm Bureau and the American Farm Bureau Federation are appealing a federal district court decision that permits the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to universally regulate state and local land use decisions throughout the Chesapeake Bay Watershed under a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL).

* CBF-PA: Cost Effective Solutions Are Known, Documented In Chesapeake Bay Cleanup

The Pennsylvania Office of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation this week put out the third in a series of fact sheets on cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay noting cost effective pollution solutions have already made significant progress in reducing pollution going to the Bay, particularly in Pennsylvania.

* Chesapeake Bay Journal Moves To Weekly E-Newsletter Edition

The Chesapeake Bay Journal will now publish a weekly e-newsletter edition, changing from its monthly schedule to offer readers more current information.  Click Here to read the first weekly edition.  Click Here to subscribe to your own copy.

* Stroud's Bern Sweeney Honored With Forest Champion Lifetime Achievement Award

Stroud Water Research Center director Bern Sweeney, Ph.D., was honored by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and the U.S. Forest Service at the opening ceremonies of the 2013 Chesapeake Watershed Forum.

* Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy To Honor 7 With Environmental Awards

Ensuring that community efforts to protect and improve the local environment are publicly acknowledged, the Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy will recognize seven distinct contributors with a 2013 Environmental Award in Montgomery County. 

* LandStudies Wins First Place In National StormTV Video Competition

LandStudies, Inc., a Lititz based environmental planning and restoration firm, Wednesday announced it won first place in the Water Environment Federation’s second annual StormTV Project video competition.

* Landscape Architecture Students Help Rebuild Stormwater Systems In Philadelphia

Wilson Lee, a junior in Penn State’s landscape architecture program, wiped the sweat and dirt from his brow under a hot October sun. Along a busy street in the heart of central Philadelphia, Lee joined a group of other Penn State students, staff and community volunteers to revamp two green infrastructure sites in the city he calls home.

* Appalachian Coal Country Team Offers Reforestation Grants

The Appalachian Coal Country Team, in partnership with the Harris and Frances Block Foundation, this week announced a funding opportunity for reforestation projects through the Reclaiming Appalachia Reforestation Initiative.

* Penn State Extension: Pharmaceutical Disposal And Water Quality

Many times things get put down our drains or flushed down our toilets that shouldn’t be because they can harm our septic systems or sewage treatment plants and ultimately our water quality and health. But what do you do with something like unused medication?

* DRBC Holds Hearing On Water Quality, Water Plan Updates Oct. 24

The Delaware River Basin Commission will hold a hearing October 24 on proposed amendments to the Commission’s water quality regulations, water code and comprehensive plan  to update stream quality objectives for pH in the interstate tidal and non-tidal reaches of the main stem of the Delaware. (formal notice)

* DEP Encourages Homeowners to Inspect, Repair Home Heating Oil Tanks

As cold weather approaches, the Department of Environmental Protection is urging homeowners to act now to save energy and money by inspecting indoor and outdoor home heating oil tanks for potential problems prior to refilling them.

* Penn State Receives NSF Grant To Study Drilling Water Issues Along Susquehanna

The National Science Foundation has awarded a $4.9 million grant to a team of Penn State researchers led by Distinguished Professor of Geosciences Susan L. Brantley to study the Earth’s surface, including efforts to understand the potential impact of natural gas drilling.

* PA Drilling Industry Releases Recommended Practices For Drilling And Well Completions

The Marcellus Shale Coalition released its latest guidance document for Drilling and Completions – two of the most critical aspects of the shale development process-- on Wednesday.

* DCNR Holds First Meeting Of Natural Gas Advisory Committee

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources convened the first meeting of the Natural Gas Advisory Committee Wednesday in State College to fulfill a recommendation in the Governor’s Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission Report.

* Drilling Industry Responds To Democratic Candidates For Governor

In response to new tax proposals touted by candidates in Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial campaign, the Marcellus Shale Coalition released the following statement on behalf of its member companies:

* Titusville Rally Remembers 40th Anniversary Of Oil Embargo

Several hundred men and women from the small towns and cities of northwestern Pennsylvania rallied Thursday in support of local conventional oil industry workers and the small businesses that rely on drilling, production, transportation, refining, processing, manufacturing and related industries for jobs.

* Give Your Unwanted Vehicles To Keep PA Beautiful As Charitable Donation

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Monday announced it has partnered with Keep America Beautiful and 1Car1Difference to launch a new vehicle donation program. All donations may be eligible for a tax deduction on one’s federal income tax return.

* Keep PA Beautiful October Beautiful Resources Newsletter Now Available

The October edition of Keep PA Beautiful’s Beautiful Resources email newsletter is now available.  Click Here to read your copy.

* Registration Now Open For DEP’s Annual Statewide Brownfields Conference Dec. 9-11

Registration is now open for the annual Pennsylvania Brownfields Conference to be held December 9-11 at the Radisson Valley Forge Hotel, King of Prussia, Montgomery County.

* Call For Presentations: Air & Waste Management Assn. 2014 Conference

Pittsburgh-based Air and Waste Management Association has issued a call for presentations for its 2014 Conference to be held June 24-27 in Long Beach, California.  Click Here for all the details.

* DEP Award-Winning Energy Exhibit At Philly Suburban Fall Home Show Oct. 18-20

The Department of Environmental Protection will display its new interactive “DEP at Home” exhibit during the Suburban Fall Home Show at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center from October 18 to 20.

* West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund Invites Funding Proposals

The West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund is now inviting proposals for renewable and clean energy projects.  Proposals are due January 14. Specifically, the Fund invites proposals on--

* Sustainable Energy Fund Offers 0% Financing For Energy Efficiency Projects

John Costlow, Director of Technical Services, Sustainable Energy Fund, announced Friday at the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce Energy & Environment Conference, the introduction of SEF's new Sustainable Energy Finance Program.

* Chatham University Receives $15 Million Grant For Sustainability School

Chatham University in Pittsburgh has received a $15 million grant from the Falk Foundation to support Chatham’s School of Sustainability & the Environment.

* Philadelphia Housing Authority Recognized With National Sustainability Accreditation

The Philadelphia Housing Authority is one of 17 affordable housing organizations across the country to achieve full Green Organizational Accreditation through a pilot program from the Sustainable Performance Institute and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

* 18 States, DEP: EPA Cannot Dictate Greenhouse Gas Standards For Existing Power Plants

On October 1, Acting DEP Secretary Chris Abruzzo sent a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency outlining Pennsylvania’s support for a letter from 18 states’ attorneys general saying while EPA may have the statutory authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, they cannot dictate what those standards should be to states for existing power plants.

* Climate Impacts Assessment Update Published By DEP

The Department of Environmental Protection this week published a new report on climate change entitled, Pennsylvania Climate Impact Assessment Update, prepared by professors and students at Penn State University’s Environment and Natural Resources Institute.

* DEP Opposed To Increase In Renewable Energy Mandate On Utilities

On Tuesday, the Department of Environmental Protection told the Climate Change Advisory Committee it would not recommend the Committee debate or vote on a plan that considers increasing the state's renewable energy law, the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard, further noting that it would not be including information in Pennsylvania's next Climate Action Plan about how the existing AEPS law reduces electricity prices for consumers.

* Aqua Pennsylvania Receives Award For Electricity Demand Load Response Programs

Aqua Pennsylvania, Inc. was awarded the National Association of Water Company’s 2013 Management Innovation Award for its pursuit of maximizing performance in electricity load response programs.

* Southwest PA Air Quality Partnership: Thermostat Rebates Available

Residents can save money and energy by participating in the Southwest Pennsylvania Air Quality Partnership, Inc.’s programmable thermostat rebate program in October and November at 12 participating True Value stores in Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, and Westmoreland Counties.

* DEP To Host Meeting On Delta Thermo Air Quality Permit Oct. 30 In Allentown

The Department of Environmental Protection will hold a public meeting on October 30 to discuss the air quality permit application submitted by Delta Thermo Energy, Inc. to construct a waste-to-energy plant on Kline Island in the city of Allentown, Lehigh County.

* 2011 Low-Level Radioactive Waste Program Report Posted By DEP

The Department of Environmental Protection this week published the 2011 Low-Level Radioactive Waste Program Report and provided copies to the General Assembly and the Appalachian States Compact Commission.

* UPS To Expand Natural Gas Footprint In PA, Other States

UPS Tuesday announced plans to invest approximately $50 million to build an additional nine liquefied natural gas (LNG) fueling stations, bringing the total number of stations to 13. Four were announced in April, and all should be operational by the end of 2014.

* DCNR Adds Two More Watersheds To Rivers Conservation Registry

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources published notices on October 12 adding two more watersheds to the state’s Rivers Conservation Registry--

* South Mountain Partnership Speaker On Wildlife Conservation Law Oct. 24

Conservation law and the history of wildlife protection in the region will be the focus of the next South Mountain Speakers Series lecture on October 24 at Shippensburg University.

* Hunters Crucial To State Deer-Forest Study Now Underway

You can take a deer out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of deer management – the two are too closely linked.

* Fish & Boat Commission Issues Alert For Invasive Species In Centre County

After confirming the presence of the aquatic invasive species known as New Zealand mudsnail (Potamopyrgus antipodarium) in Spring Creek, Centre County, the Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) is reminding anglers and boaters that cleaning their gear is the easiest, most effective means of preventing its spread to other waters.

* Opportunity To Bid On DCNR Projects In Butler, Franklin, Union Counties

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources published notice of an opportunity to bid on construction projects in Butler, Franklin and Union counties.

* Jennifer Reed-Harry, Paul Bruder Named To Chesapeake Bay Citizens Committee

Gov. Corbett has appointed Jennifer Reed-Harry and Paul Bruder to the interstate Citizens’ Advisory Committee to the Chesapeake Bay Executive Council.

* Help Wanted: Crawford County Conservation District Manager

Crawford County is seeking candidates to fill the position of Conservation District Manager.  Applications are due no later than October 15.  Click Here for the position announcement.  Click Here for a job description.

* 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 NewsClips

Here's a selection of NewsClips 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 - October 12, 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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