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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, Feb. 3, 2014
(2/3/2014)
CLICK HERE To Print Entire Digest
* Breaking News: Corbett Unveils Enhance Penn’s Woods, Growing Greener Coalition Urges Corbett To Protect Environmental Funding

Breaking News

* House Committee Hears Overwhelming Opposition To Bill Banning Stream Buffer Mandate

The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee Wednesday held a hearing on House Bill 1565 (Hahn-R-Northampton) which would eliminate the mandate on the use of stream buffers to control erosion and sedimentation in High Quality and Exceptional Value Watersheds under Chapter 102 of DEP’s regulations.  The regulations were adopted in May of 2010.

* CBF-PA Testifies At House Hearing On Importance Of Stream Buffers

Harry Campbell, PA Director for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Wednesday presented testimony before the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee to stress the importance of streamside forested buffers as a means for improving and protecting the Commonwealth’s most sensitive and pristine waterways.

* 17 Groups Express Opposition To House Bill Removing Endangered Species Protection

On Monday 17 environmental groups from around the state wrote a letter to every member of the House of Representatives expressing their opposition to House Bill 1576 (Pyle-R-Armstrong) making fundamental changes in the way threatened and endangered species are listed and protected in Pennsylvania.

* PennFuture Lauds Extension Of Comment Period On Chapter 78 Drilling Regulations

PennFuture Tuesday applauded the decision by the state Department of Environmental Protection to extend the public comment period on proposed new regulations for oil and gas development – Chapter 78 of the DEP's regulations – for 30 days.

* New Poll Shows Support For Drilling, Protecting Environment

A new Franklin & Marshall Poll released Wednesday shows 40 percent of those polled believe the benefits of natural gas drilling outweigh environmental damage.  At the same time the poll found protecting the state’s environment was third on the most important list of problems facing Pennsylvania at 19 percent; 31 percent believe unemployment and the economy are the state’s most important problem, followed by schools and school funding.

* PUC Increasing Marcellus Gas Well Fees For Calendar 2013

The Public Utility Commission published notice in the February 1 PA Bulletin increasing Marcellus gas well fees for calendar 2013 based on an increase in the average price for natural gas from $2.78 in 2012 to $3.651 in 2013.  The increase in horizontal well fees will be--

* 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

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

* Senate/House Bills Moving

The following bills of interest saw action this week in the House and Senate--

* Senate Committees Hear Support For Federal Flood Insurance Fix

The Pennsylvania Senate Banking & Insurance Committee and the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee met Tuesday to hear testimony from statewide organizations, county officials and residents concerning the implementation of the federal flood insurance law, known as the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012. 

* Rep. Vitali Announces Bill To Keep Oil & Gas Fund Revenues For DCNR Use

Rep. Greg Vitali (D-Delaware), Minority Chair of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, and leaders of statewide environmental groups Thursday urged Gov. Corbett not to use the Oil and Gas Lease fund to balance the Commonwealth budget.

* House Environmental Committee Hearing On Oil & Gas Well Royalty Payments Feb. 4

The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on House Bill 1684 (Everett-R-Lycoming) guaranteeing minimum royalty payments to oil and gas well owners.

* CBF: New Draft Chesapeake Bay Agreement Available For Comment

Chesapeake Bay Foundation Vice President Kim Coble issued this statement Wednesday regarding a proposed new Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement, which was released for public comment by the Chesapeake Bay Program:

* American Farmland Trust Calls On Congress To Pass The New Farm Bill

The American Farmland Trust called on Congress Monday to pass the new Farm Bill.  The bill includes a number of American Farmland Trust's legislative priorities that will help preserve agricultural land, promote sound farming practices, and help keep farmers on the land.

* CBF Praises Congressional Action On New Farm Bill, Good News For Chesapeake Bay

Chesapeake Bay Foundation President William C. Baker issued this statement regarding a new federal Farm Bill, which was passed Wednesday by the U.S. House of Representatives:

* Reminder: Keystone Coldwater Conference Feb. 21-22 In State College

The 2014 Keystone Coldwater Conference will be held on February 21-22 at the Ramada Inn Conference Center in State College.  The last day to register is February 14.

* CBF-PA Receives Growing Greener Grant To Expand Clean Water Efforts

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA celebrates with partners and farmers the award of a $375,000 Growing Greener grant that will enable vital on-farm water quality improvements to continue and to expand in north central Pennsylvania.

* WREN Grant Funds Mount Joy Rain Garden Project

In Mount Joy Borough, Lancaster County, a PA League of Women Voters Water Resources Education Network grant helped “A Blooming Good Idea” project create rain gardens throughout the community.

* January PA Water Policy News Now Available From Water Resources Education Network

The January issue of Water Policy News is now available from the PA League of Women Voters Water Resources Education NetworkClick Here to read a copy.

* International River Rally Coming To Pittsburgh May 30-June 2

River Network and Waterkeeeper Alliance are partnering to host the International River Rally 2014 in Pittsburgh on May 30 - June 2..

* EPA Awards Grants To Penn State, Others To Improve Water Quality

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy Thursday announced grants to four research institutions for innovative and sustainable water research to manage harmful nutrient pollution.

* U.S. Water Partnership Seeks Applications For Water Technology Program

The U.S. Water Partnership is seeking applications for its Exemplar U.S. Water Technology Grant Program to recommend U.S. technologies to be showcased at an event at the U.S. State Department in Washington, DC on March 21. Applications are due February 4.

* Registration Open For PA American Water Works Assn. Annual Conference May 6-8

Registration is now open for the PA Section of the American Water Works Association annual conference May 6-8 at the Sands Hotel in Bethlehem.  Click Here for information on registration, the agenda and special activities.

* Governor’s Office Publishes Regulatory Agenda For Next 6 Months

The Governor’s Office published its semi-annual Regulatory Agenda for the next six months in the February 1 PA Bulletin (page 709) outlining pending and planned regulatory changes from the departments of Agriculture, Environmental Protection, Conservation and Natural Resources and other state agencies.

* State Electronics Recycling Challenge Looking For PA Communities

The State Electronics Challenge is looking for Pennsylvanian local and state governments that want to make a difference in 2014 and reduce the environmental impact of their office electronic equipment. 

* DEP Issues Air Quality Action Day Alert For Feb. 1 In Southcentral, Southeast PA

The Department of Environmental Protection and its regional air quality partnerships forecast an Air Quality Action Day for fine particles for Southcentral and Southeastern Pennsylvania on Saturday, February 1.  Click Here for details.

* Corbett: PA Expanding Its Commitment To Clean Energy, Awards Grants

Gov. Corbett Tuesday announced Pennsylvania is expanding its commitment to advance clean and alternative energy sources with the investment of more than $4.5 million in grants through the Commonwealth Financing Authority.

* Clean Air Council Launches Save Energy Philly Website

Clean Air Council invites you to check out the easy-to-use website that provides Philadelphia and Pennsylvania residents with important information about energy efficiency.

* PJM Electric Grid Meets Month-Long Challenges Of Cold January

PJM Interconnection, the electricity grid operator for more than 61 million people in 13 states and the District of Columbia, experienced one of its biggest weather challenges during the month of January.

* PA Coal Alliance Calls For Hearings On Power Supply Problems

As consumers brace for considerably higher electric bills in the coming weeks, the Pennsylvania Coal Alliance called for legislative hearings to investigate the reasons for the supply shortages that are causing prices to spike.

* PUC Urges Utility Customers To Review Electric Contracts, Shop For Power

The Public Utility Commission Friday reminded customers using a competitive supplier to review their contract as cold temperatures and high demand have driven the wholesale price of electricity higher.

* PA Chamber Annual Environmental Conference And Trade Show April 10

The PA Chamber will hold its 2014 annual Environmental Conference and Trade Show April 10 at the Best Western Premier Eden Resort and Suites in Lancaster.  Click Here for all the details.

* Independent Review Hails Management of Pennsylvania’s State Forests

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Ellen Ferretti Tuesday released results of an independent review team’s annual study of state forestlands, noting its findings continue to affirm Bureau of Forestry efforts to conserve these resources through sound management.

* TreeVitalize To Host Tree Planting Workshop Feb. 11 In Pittsburgh

TreeVitalize Pittsburgh is hosting a free application workshop to learn about how to organize a tree planting in your community. The workshop will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. February 11 at the CCI Center, 62 S. 14th St., in Pittsburgh's South Side. Dinner and refreshments will be provided. For more information and to RSVP, send email to: trees@paconserve.org or call 412-586-2386. 

* DCNR Offers Emerald Ash Borer Community Training Workshops

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has scheduled four Emerald Ash Borer Community Training sessions in central and western Pennsylvania.  The sessions will be held--

* Redbank Valley In Western PA Is 2014 Trail Of The Year

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Ellen Ferretti Monday announced Redbank Valley Trails in Armstrong, Clarion and Jefferson counties is the 2014 Trail of the Year in Pennsylvania.

* 2014 Adult Trout Stocking Schedules Now Available

The Fish and Boat Commission Friday announced the 2014 adult trout stocking schedule is now available.

* January Issue Of Fish & Boat Commission’s Currents Newsletter Now Available

The January issue of the Fish and Boat Commission’s Currents newsletter is now available features stories on awards given for volunteer service, habitat restoration and lifesaving.  It also includes a schedule of exhibits the Commission will have out outdoor shows around the state.

* Land Acquisitions Highlight Game Commission Board Meeting

The Board of Game Commissioners on Tuesday approved a purchase that will add nearly 13,000 acres to State Game Lands 25 in Jones Township, Elk County.

* Delaware Highlands: Love For The Land Across The Generations

When Julie Kulak first heard about the Delaware Highlands Conservancy almost a decade ago, she knew she wanted to take action to protect her cherished family land in Wayne County, Pa.

* DEP Names Kelly Burch Executive Director For Oil And Gas Operations

DEP Secretary Chris Abruzzo this week named Kelly Burch to the newly created position of Executive Director For Oil and Gas Operations in the Oil and Gas Management Deputate.  Burch was most recently the Regional Director of DEP’s office in Meadville.

* Intern Wanted: Allegheny Land Trust Seeking Chartiers Creek Intern

The Allegheny Land Trust is accepting applications for the 2014 John Hamm Internship.  This position-- Chartiers Creek Watershed Intern-- is made possible by generous donations from the PA Environmental Defense Foundation and the friends and family of Mr. John Hamm.  Applications are due April 1.  Click Here for details.

* Can It Get Any Better In PA: Groundhog Day, Super Bowl On Same Day

The two biggest events of the year will be celebrated on the same day in Pennsylvania-- Groundhog Day where Punxsutawney Phil gives his annual weather forecast from Jefferson County-- 6 more weeks of winter or 6 more weeks until spring (?) and the Super Bowl!

* 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

The Environmental Quality Board published a notice extending the comment period for the proposed Chapter 78 drilling regulations to March 14.

* 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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