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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, Feb. 24, 2014
(2/24/2014)
CLICK HERE To Print Entire Digest
* PA Supreme Court Rejects Act 13 Court Decision Reconsideration Motion

The PA Supreme Court Friday rejected the Corbett Administration’s request for reconsideration of the Court’s landmark decision in December which declared unconstitutional provisions of the Act 13 Marcellus Shale drilling law relating to local regulation of drilling operations.

* Senate DEP Budget Hearing Focuses On Gas Well Explosion, Well Regulation Issues

The natural gas well explosion in Greene County last week and DEP’s Oil and Gas Program were  the focus of many of the questions members of the Senate Appropriations Committee asked DEP Secretary Chris Abruzzo Tuesday as he appeared before the Committee to answer questions about his agency’s FY 2014-15 budget request.

* House DEP Budget Hearing Tackles Climate Change, Chesapeake Bay, Other Issues

The House Appropriations Committee hearing on DEP’s budget request Wednesday covered much the same ground as the Senate hearing Tuesday, but did get into the issue of climate change, Chesapeake Bay cleanup, water and wastewater infrastructure funding and air quality issues related to natural gas drilling the Senate did not.

* Additional Natural Gas Leasing Focus Of DCNR Senate Budget Hearing

Gov. Corbett’s proposal for “none impact” leasing of additional State Forest and Park land was the subject of many of the questions DCNR Secretary Ellen Ferretti received at the Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearing for DCNR Wednesday.

* 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--

* Game Commission Presents Annual Report To House Game & Fisheries Committee

Game Commission Executive Director R. Matthew Hough Tuesday presented the agency’s annual report to the General Assembly, and delivered testimony before the House Game and Fisheries Committee.  Click Here to read a copy of the annual report.

* Fish & Boat Commission Presents Annual Report To House Committee

John Arway, Executive Director of the Fish and Boat Commission, Wednesday presented the Commission’s annual report to the General Assembly during a meeting by the House Game and Fisheries Committee.  Click Here to read a copy of the report.

* DEP Citizens Advisory Council Hears Overview Of Draft Chesapeake Bay Agreement

DEP’s Citizens Advisory Council Tuesday heard a presentation on the draft Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement now out for public review.  The Council could not complete its full agenda because bad weather kept several members from attending.

* Ohio River Watershed Celebration Benefit Dinner March 4

On March 4 the organizers of the Ohio River Watershed Celebration will hold a benefit dinner to support the Celebration cruise at Mad Mex Shadyside in Pittsburgh starting at 7:00 p.m.

* Susquehanna Land & Water Conservation Summit March 31, Penn State Harrisburg

The Penn State Agriculture and Environment Center, the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation will host the Susquehanna Land and Water Conservation Summit March 31 at the Penn State University campus in Harrisburg.

* Conodoguinet Creek Watershed Association Farm Animal Operation Permitting Feb. 25

On February 25, the Conodoguinet Creek Watershed Association will conduct a panel discussion titled “The A-Zs of CAFOs.”  Admission is free.  The event will be held from 7:00-9:00 p.m. at the Stuart Community Center, Carlisle Parks & Recreation, 415 Franklin Street, Carlisle, Cumberland County.  Parking is available onsite.

* American Farmland Trust Hosts Webinars On Benefits Of Cover Crops In March

American Farmland Trust and the American Society of Agronomy are hosting a four-part webinar series in March to educate agricultural producers and others on the benefits of using cover crops to reduce the cost of farming, improve soil health and reduce runoff from farm fields.

* PA American Water Accepting Applications For Environmental Grant Program

PA American Water Thursday announced applications are now being accepted for its 2014 Environmental Grant Program.   The deadline for applications is March 31.

* Philadelphia Water Dept. Student Street Art Contest To Turn Heads For Clean Water

The students in kindergarten through high school have until February 28 to enter the Philadelphia Water Department Green City, Clean Waters Art Contest

* Rivers Conservation & Fly Fishing Youth Camp June 15-20

The Cumberland Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited is holding the 20th annual Rivers Conservation and Fly Fishing Youth Camp June 15 - 20 at the Allenberry Resort in Boiling Springs, Cumberland County.  The deadline for registrations is March 31.

* Keep PA Beautiful Announces New Great American Cleanup Of PA Video Contest

Keep PA Beautiful is announcing they are now accepting entries their annual Great American Cleanup of PA Video Contest.  The deadline for submissions is May 23.

* DEP Fines Halliburton $1.8 Million For Repeated Waste Violations

The Department of Environmental Protection Tuesday announced it is fining Halliburton Energy Services $1.8 million for 255 violations of the Solid Waste Management Act between 1999 and 2011.

* Sen. Bob Casey Calls For More Funds To Increase Pipeline Safety

Three years after the tragic Allentown pipeline explosion, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) during a press conference Friday called for additional funding for safety measures. 

* PA League Of Women Voters Primer On Pipelines Feb. 25 In Clarion

The League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania, through a grant from the Colcom Foundation, will be presenting a Primer on Pipelines on February 25 at 7:00 p.m. in the Gemmell MultiPurpose Room at Clarion University.

* Conservation Groups Urge Legislators To Block Leasing Of Additional State Lands

Thirty-five conservation, outdoor, environmental protection, and civic engagement organizations Wednesday issued a letter to state legislators urging opposition to Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposal to lift an existing moratorium on natural gas leasing in Pennsylvania’s state forests.

* UGI GET Natural Gas Program Approved By PUC

The Public Utility Commission Thursday approved a settlement for a pilot program that changes the way the UGI’s Pennsylvania gas distribution utilities charge customers for line extension projects.

* Corbett Calls For After-Action Review Of Winter Storm Response

Gov. Tom Corbett Friday directed PA Emergency Management Agency Director Glenn Cannon to lead a thorough After-Action Review, in cooperation with the Public Utility Commission, on the state's response to recent winter storms.

* PUC Seeks Comments On Changes To Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Rules

The Public Utility Commission Thursday issued for comment a proposed rulemaking that would revise certain regulations of the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act of 2004, including regulations pertaining to net metering, interconnection and compliance provisions of the AEPS Act.

* International Energy Conservation Code Workshop March 20 In Monroeville

The Department of Environmental Protection invites code enforcement officials, builders, contractors and designers to a March 20 training workshop in Monroeville, Allegheny County on the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code.

* Proceedings Initiated To Examine Variable Electric Rates By PUC

With more than 400 high bill informal complaints filed by consumers this year, the Public Utility Commission Thursday opened a proceeding to examine the rules, policies and consumer education measures regarding variable rate electric generation products.

* Corbett Reappoints Robert F. Powelson To Public Utility Commission

Gov. Tom Corbett Tuesday reappointed Robert F. Powelson of Chester County to the Public Utility Commission. Powelson has served as a PUC chairman since February 2011.

* February 20 DEP Newsletter Now Available

The February 20 issue of DEP News is now available.  Click Here to get your own copy and for back issues.

* ClearWater Conservancy Hosts Woods In Your Backyard Workshop March 8

Anyone interested in improving their yard or small acreage lot for the benefit of humans, flora and fauna will not want to miss the second in the Woods in Your Backyard series of programs to be held in State College.

* Pennsylvania Adds 26 Farms, Nearly 2,400 Acres To Preservation Program

Pennsylvania’s Agricultural Land Preservation Board Wednesday safeguarded 2,359 additional acres on 26 farms in 13 counties through the state’s nationally renowned farmland preservation program.

* Capital RC&D Produces Guide To Employing Farm Interns

Capital Resource Conservation and Development Council has developed the “Guide to Internships and Employment for Pennsylvania Farms” in response to help reduce the confusion experienced by both farmers and employees participating in internship and apprenticeship opportunities.

* Volunteer Day At Fort Washington State Park April 5

Fort Washington State Park in Montgomery County is seeking volunteers to help with planting trees, trash cleanup, raking leaves, assembling picnic tables and other springtime projects. All you need to bring is a pair of garden or work gloves to make a big difference in your Park. Volunteers of all ages are welcomed and appreciated.

* DCNR Adds Winter Activity Information To Its Interactive Online Map

If winter weather has you wanting to strap on snowshoes or cross-country skis, or try ice fishing for the first time, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is unveiling a new online service that points you to the right place -- at the right time.

* DCNR Feb. 19 Issue Of Resources Newsletter Is Now Available

The February 19 issue of DCNR’s online Resource newsletter is now available.  Click Here for back issues.

* Feature: DCNR Volunteer Cited For Work With Bluebirds, Other Species

A flash of russet breast, ever-flitting from perch to ground on a body of cobalt blue. A cheery, non-stop tune piped from atop a flowering dogwood. Treating our senses every spring is that popular harbinger of the season—the Eastern bluebird.

* Get A Bird’s-Eye View Of Pittsburgh Bald Eagle Nest Online

Last year, a young bald eagle fledged from a nest within the city limits of Pittsburgh for the first time in perhaps 200 years or more.  And in the months that led up to that moment, hundreds looked on from a distance.

* Opportunity To Bid On DCNR, DEP Projects

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources published notice of an opportunity to bid on projects in Lackawanna and Perry 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 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 Tuesday approved a number of agenda items including final regulations setting new VOC emission limits on printing operations, a proposed rule updating Land Recycling Program regulations, acted to not approve a rulemaking petition to upgrade the Perkiomen Creek and Stony Run watersheds and heard a report on NPDES permit and administration fees.

* 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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