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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, Dec. 23, 2013
(12/23/2013)
CLICK HERE To Print Entire Digest
* PA Supreme Court Rules Act 13 Drilling Law Municipal Preemption Unconstitutional

The PA Supreme Court Thursday issued a landmark opinion declaring unconstitutional provisions of the Act 13 Marcellus Shale drilling law relating to preempting local regulation of drilling operations, according to the Delaware Riverkeeper.

* Analysis: Landmark Court Opinion Turns Environmental Regulation In PA Upside Down

It’s dangerous to do an analysis of a 162-page court opinion in 24 hours, but the decision Thursday by the PA Supreme Court declaring the preemption of local regulation under the Act 13 Marcellus Shale drilling law unconstitutional is clearly a landmark by any definition.  Many environmental law experts say it has the potential to turn the way environmental impacts are regulated in Pennsylvania upside down.

* Budget Office Projects Need To Fill $1.7 Billion Hole In FY 2014-15 Budget

Budget Secretary Charles Zogby Wednesday said the Corbett Administration is projecting the need to fill a $1.7 billion hole in the FY 2014-15 budget caused by the usual budget drivers-- increases in state and school employee pension payments, medical assistance costs and at the Department of Corrections.

* PA Climate Change Action Plan Update Moves To Completion

On Friday, DEP’s Climate Change Advisory Committee met to provide its last comments on a PA Climate Action Plan Update and individual work plan recommendations, but took no overall vote or action on the documents.

* DEP Publishes Schedule Of Advisory Committee, Board Meetings For 2014

The Department of Environmental Protection published a schedule of 2014 advisory committee and board meetings in the December 21 PA Bulletin starting on page 7503.

* DEP Reminds Pennsylvanians ‘Tis The Season To Recycle Electronics

This holiday season, many people will receive new TVs and computers, often as replacements for older electronics. DEP reminds Pennsylvanians to recycle unwanted electronics instead of throwing them in the trash.

* PA Environmental Council Interview With DCNR Secretary Ellen Ferretti

This month’s issue of the PA Environmental Council’s Forum newsletter features an interview with DCNR Secretary Ellen Ferretti touching on a variety of issues facing the agency, including trail development, conservation landscapes, natural gas drilling and other topics.  The Digest reprints the interview here--

* Add Us To Your Google+ Circle

PA Environment Digest now has a Google+ Circle called Green Works In PA.  Just go to your Google+ page and search for DHess@CrisciAssociates.com, the email for the Digest Editor David Hess,  and let us join your Circle.

* 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--

* 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--

* New Bipartisan Marcellus Shale Drilling Tax Proposal Announced By House Members

A bipartisan Marcellus Shale drilling tax proposal was announced Tuesday by a bipartisan group of state lawmakers, led by Reps. Gene DiGirolamo (R-Bucks) and Tom Murt (R-Montgomery).  The proposal will be similar to House Bill 1863 from last session.

* House Democrat Hearing On Climate Change Based On 2009 Climate Plan, Not 2013 Plan

Pennsylvania should be doing more to address climate change, a panel of experts told the House Democratic Policy Committee Monday during a hearing organized by Rep. Greg Vitali (D-Delaware), Minority Chair of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.

* December Environmental Synopsis Available From Joint Conservation Committee

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

* Farmers Improve 36 Miles Of Streams In Upper Susquehanna Watershed

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA, 41 farmers and CBF’s partners in northern Pennsylvania Friday celebrate a significant clean water achievement: 36 miles of forest buffers have been planted along streams in Bradford, Susquehanna, Sullivan, Wyoming, and Lycoming Counties.

* Conewago Creek Initiative Featured In Penn State Video

Penn State Public Media recently released “A Conewago Story,” a video documenting the work of farmers and other landowners as part of the Conewago Creek Initiative in Dauphin, Lancaster and Lebanon counties.

* StateImpact PA: Is The Susquehanna River Healthy Or At Risk? Jan. 20 Program

StateImpact Pennsylvania is hosting a panel discussion on “Is The Susquehanna River Healthy Or At Risk” at WITF studios in Harrisburg from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

* Penn State: New Sustainable Ag Farmers Need Access, Farm Management Knowledge

On-farm internships and land-link programs are two important models for increasing the number of farmers in the sustainable-agriculture movement, according to researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

* DEP Jan. 7 Webinar On GP-8 Stream Crossings Permit Changes

The Department of Environmental Protection announced Wednesday it will hold a second webinar on January 7, at 2:30 p.m., to discuss proposed revisions to the GP-8 permit used for temporary road crossings.

* Allegheny Front Radio Series Features Abandoned Mine Drainage Treatment Efforts

The Allegheny Front, a radio news program featured on Pittsburgh's local National Public Radio, NPR, is hosting a new series called "Ripple Effects: Water Pollution and Solutions."

* Penn State Extension Offers Water Testing Clinics In 2014

Penn State Extension is offering a series of Drinking Water Clinics in 2014 that include discounted water testing through the Penn State water testing laboratory.

* Water Resources Education Network December Policy News Now Available

The PA League of Women Voters Water Resources Education Network December Water Policy News is now available.  Click Here to read your copy.

* StormwaterPA Blueprint For Success Features Tacony Creek Restoration

The latest issue of StormwaterPA’s  Blueprint For Success features a video of the Tacony Creek Restoration Projects.  Click Here to watch the video.

* Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Network Holds Over 60 Special Collections During 2013

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful’s affiliate network held over 60 special collection events across the state during 2013 collecting 30,928 tires, 448.5 tons of electronics, 19.8 tons of scrap metal and 17.9 tons of household hazardous waste at one-day events and permanent drop-off locations.

* Gov. Corbett Launches Statewide Drug Take-Back Program

Gov. Corbett Monday launched a permanent statewide drug take-back program to provide up to 250 secure medicine return boxes throughout Pennsylvania.

* Fish Commission: Drug Take-Back Initiative Will Protect Fish

An initiative by Gov. Corbett to safely dispose of unused and expired prescription and over-the-counter medicine also will improve the health of fish, said the executive director of the Fish and Boat Commission Tuesday.

* PA Environmental Council Opposes Rollback Of Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards

On December 12 Rep. Tommy Sankey (R-Clearfield) introduced House Bill 1912 which would repeal the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards adopted in 2004 that requires electric companies to obtain 15 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2023.

* Gov. Corbett Awards Nearly $2 Million In Alternative Fuel Incentive Grants

Gov. Corbett Monday awarded nearly $2 million in Alternative Fuel Incentive Grants to four successful applicants for their innovative alternative fuel technology projects.

* DEP Launches New Interactive Online Oil and Gas Well Mapping Tool

The Department of Environmental Protection Thursday announced it has made available a new online Oil and Gas Mapping Tool on its website.

* Panda Power Funds Finances 2nd PA Natural Gas Power Project In Lycoming County

Panda Power Funds Friday announced it has completed the acquisition and successful financing of Moxie Energy’s planned 829-MW natural gas-fueled, combined-cycle “Patriot” generating station, located in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania.

* PUC Updates Act 129 Energy Conservation Technical Reference Manual

The Public Utility Commission Thursday 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 and the energy efficiency and conservation provisions of Act 129 of 2008.

* PPG Glass Helps Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens Center Win Green Award

Pittsburgh-based PPG Industries Monday announced its glass products helped the Center for Sustainable Landscapes at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh win a 2013 Green Design Award from USGlass magazine.

* PA Chamber, Industry Coalition Urge Passage Of Endangered Species Changes

The PA Chamber of Business and Industry Wednesday joined a coalition of diverse industries and chambers of commerce throughout Pennsylvania in sending a letter to the General Assembly urging support for legislation that would protect threatened and endangered species without stifling economic growth.

* Opinion: Why Do We Need To Protect Endangered Species And Wild Trout?

By John A. Arway, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission

* Fish & Boat Commission December Currents Newsletter Now Available

The December issue of the Fish and Boat Commission’s Currents newsletter is now available.  Click Here to read this month’s issue.

* January 25 Is Eagle Day At PPL’s Lake Wallenpaupack Environmental Learning Center

On January 25th from 1 p.m.-4 p.m., join the Delaware Highlands Conservancy, PPL, and other local organizations for an educational, fun and free Eagle Day for the whole family, located at PPL's Lake Wallenpaupack Environmental Learning Center in Hawley, PA.

* State Parks Mark New Year With First Day Hikes

To promote a healthy start in the new year, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will sponsor free, guided hikes in 19 state parks on New Year's Day as part of a nationwide effort to get people active outdoors.

* Friends Of The Wissahickon Invite You To Be A Trail Ambassador

Join the Friends of the Wissahickon in Montgomery County and become a Trail Ambassador this winter. FOW is offering winter training for this popular volunteer program. The application deadline is January 31.

* You Can Participate In Upper Delaware Fishing, Boating Economic Impacts Study

Delaware County (NY) Economic Development and Friends of the Upper Delaware River are inviting businesses to participate in an online survey as part of a larger study of the economic impact of the cold water fishery that now exists on the Delaware River’s upper sections, including the East and West Branches.

* PA Wilds December E-News Update Now Available

The December E-News Update from the PA Wilds Program is now available.

* Auditor General Encourages DCNR To Adhere To Grant Process

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale Friday released a report showing the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources mishandled a $250,000 grant and failed to ensure that post-project inspections were completed for more than 1,400 Land and Water Conservation Fund projects since 2008.

* PHMC Accepting Applications For Historic Preservation Grants

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission is now accepting applications for federal Historic Preservation Certified Local Government Grants.  The deadline for applications is February 14.

* Opportunity To Bid On DCNR State Park Projects In Bucks, Clarion, Erie Counties

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources published notice of an opportunity to bid on state park projects in Bucks, Clarion and Erie counties.

* Help Wanted: Performance Systems Development Energy Consultant

Performance Systems Development, an energy management consultant, is looking for candidates to fill a customer service representative position in its Philadelphia office.  Click Here for the details.

* 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 - December 21, 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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