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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, April 7, 2014
* DEP Reminds Pennsylvanians April Is Earth Month - Pick It Up PA!

The Department of Environmental Protection Tuesday reminded residents that April is Earth Month. The theme for Earth Month is “Pick it up PA,” encouraging residents to take time to pick up litter around their homes and in public areas.

* Gov. Corbett Announces 2014 Environmental Excellence Award Winners

Gov. Tom Corbett Tuesday announced that 23 organizations involved in 19 environmental projects from across the state will receive the 2014 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence.

* PA Resources Council Receives Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award

Gov. Tom Corbett Tuesday announced the PA Resources Council receive a Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence in recognition of PRC’s successful tailgate recycling programs in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

* William Penn Foundation $35 Million Delaware River Watershed Initiative

The William Penn Foundation Tuesday announced an unprecedented $35 million multi-year Delaware River Water Initiative to protect and restore critical sources of drinking water for 15 million people.

* Stroud Water Research Center Receives WPF Grant For Delaware Watershed Work

Stroud Water Research Center this week received a $1.26 million grant from the William Penn Foundation to monitor water quality of regional sub-watersheds in the Delaware River Basin.

* Academy Of Natural Sciences WPF Grant To Protect Drinking Water In Delaware Basin

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University has received a three-year grant from the William Penn Foundation to be one of the organizations coordinating the Foundation’s initiative to protect and restore critical sources of drinking water for residents in the Delaware River watershed.

* Natural Lands Trust WPF Grant To Promote Land Stewardship In Delaware Watershed

Natural Lands Trust Thursday announced it has received $1.3 million in funding from the Philadelphia-based William Penn Foundation to promote conservation and land stewardship techniques in the Delaware River Watershed.

* Temple Awarded WPF Grant For Watershed Restoration In Delaware Basin

The Center for Sustainable Communities at Temple University has been awarded a $1.235 million grant from the William Penn Foundation to provide oversight, expertise and support for dozens of restoration projects in five watersheds in the Philadelphia region as part of its Delaware River Watershed Initiative.

* PUC Expects To Collect $224.5 Million In Act 13 Drilling Impact Fees In 2014

Gov. Tom Corbett Friday announced the Public Utility Commission expects to collect $224.5 million in Act 13 drilling impact fees in 2014 bringing the total impact fees collected since 2012 to more than $630 million.

* Patriot-News: Franklin Kury And The 40-Year Fight For Clean Air, Water In PA

The Patriot-News Friday published a feature story written by Donald Gilliland about the history of Pennsylvania’s Environmental Rights Amendment to the Constitution and its author former Senator and House member Franklin Kury (D-Sunbury) and how it relates today to the recent PA Supreme Court decision on the Act 13 Marcellus Shale drilling law.  It’s a good read.

* 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, 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--

* Senate/House Bills Moving

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

* Sen. Solobay Introduces Bill To Force Scrutiny Of Coal Power Plant Closures

After a winter of power-consumption warnings in Western Pennsylvania, Sen. Tim Solobay (D-Washington) Monday announced new legislation-- Senate Bill 1273-- to require a closer review of plans to deactivate coal-fired power plants.

* Sen. Hutchinson Announces Bill To Protect, Promote Conventional Oil Production

Sen. Scott Hutchinson (R-Venango) Monday announced he is introducing legislation-- Senate Bill 1310--  to protect that industry from state regulations intended for companies extracting Marcellus Shale gas.

* Rep. Daley Salutes Utility Decisions To Delay Heating Shutoffs

Rep. Peter J. Daley II (D-Washington), Minority Chair of the House Consumer Affairs Committee, Monday thanked key gas utilities in Pennsylvania for delaying service shutoffs by two weeks.

* Natural Gas Price Spikes, Availability Drove Electric Rate Spikes Senate Committee Told

Frederick Bresler, Vice President of Market Operations for PJM, said Tuesday severe winter weather caused record natural gas price spikes and delivery problems that were responsible for about half the electric generation outages on the coldest day of the winter on January 7 forcing the cost of electric from an average of less than $40 per MwH to more than $1,000 per MwH for suppliers, higher than the cap PJM allows generators to charge.

* Sen. Erickson Adds Another Natural Gas Severance Tax Proposal To Mix

Sen. Ted Erickson (R-Delaware) Wednesday introduced Senate Bill 1315 imposing a 4 percent tax on natural gas production at the wellhead.  Proceeds from the tax would be deposited in the state General Fund.

* House Committee To Consider Bill Eliminating Low-RVP Gasoline In Pittsburgh

On April 9 the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee is scheduled to consider Senate Bill 1037 (Vogel-R-Beaver) directing the Environmental Quality Board to adopt a regulation to repeal the requirement for summer low-RVP gasoline in seven Western Pennsylvania counties.

* DEP Citizens Advisory Council: Mine Subsidence, Septic Systems On April 15 Agenda

The agenda for the April 15 meeting of the DEP Citizens Advisory Council will feature a discussion of mine subsidence issues, the Onlot Septic System Program, a new brochure for citizens outlining responsibilities under Act 54 related to longwall mining and 2014 Council priorities.

* Nominations Invited For Statewide Clean Water Farm Award

The Pennsylvania Chesapeake Bay Education Office is seeking nominations for its Clean Water Farm Award Program administered by the PA Association of Conservation Districts.  Nominations are due April 30.

* DEP Invests $3.4 Million In Agricultural Outreach Program And Assistance

The Department of Environmental Protection Monday announced a $3.4 million investment in an all-new agricultural outreach and assistance program, the Regional Agricultural Watershed Assessment Program, to improve water quality in six different watersheds throughout the state.

* DEP Issues Permit Requiring Closure Of FirstEnergy’s Little Blue Run Impoundment

The Department of Environmental Protection Thursday issued a Closure Permit to FirstEnergy Generation, LLC, imposing a mandatory closure plan for the Little Blue Run Impoundment in Beaver County.

* SRBC Solicits Projects For Consumptive Water Use Mitigation

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission Monday released a Solicitation For Projects: Water Sources For Consumptive Use Mitigation Within The Susquehanna River Basin.  Proposals are due June 27.

* PSU Extension: Source Water Protection, Water Supply Coalitions In Northcentral PA

On January 9, 2014, newly formed public water supply coalitions had an opportunity to meet with Marcus Kohl, Regional Director of the Northcentral Department of Environmental Protection Office in Williamsport, Lycoming County.

* Water Resources Education Network March Newsletter Now Available

The March Water Policy News is now available from the PA League of Women Voters Water Resources Education Network.

* DEP Webinar On Chapter 105 Proposed In-Lieu Of Aquatic Restoration Policies April 10

The Department of Environmental Protection Wednesday announced it will hold a webinar at 2:30 p.m. April 10 to discuss Chapter 105 Proposed Technical Guidance Documents relating to a new in lieu fee program called the PA Integrated Ecological Services, Capacity Enhancement and Support Program.

* DEP Fines Steelton Borough Water Authority $55,200 For Drinking Water Violations

The Department of Environmental Protection Wednesday announced  Steelton Borough Water Authority, Dauphin County, has signed a $55,200 consent order and agreement with DEP to address drinking water treatment and reporting violations that occurred in 2013.

* Call For Presentations 2014 PA Infrastructure Expo Nov. 18-19 In Grantville

The PA Section American Water Works Association has issued a call for presentation proposals for the 2014 PA Infrastructure Expo November 18-19 in Grantville, Dauphin County.  The deadline for proposals is June 20.  Click Here for details.

* Moon Area H.S. Wins Can-Do Aluminum Can Recycling Challenge In Allegheny County

Students from Moon Area High School in Allegheny County demonstrated a "can-do" attitude when taking on the Alcoa Aluminum Can Recycling Challenge throughout the 2013-2014 school year, and MAHS came away as the winner of the inaugural recycling competition facilitated by the PA Resources Council.

* Allegheny CleanWays Announces First Tireless Cleanup April 12

Allegheny CleanWays and partners Allegheny County and Rivers of Steel Heritage Corporation will organize volunteers for their first Tireless Project of 2014 on April 12 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to remove tires and debris from the shores of the Monongahela River at the historic Carrie Furnace.

* PRC: Backyard Composting, Watershed/Rain Barrel Workshops In Allegheny County

Get your green on this spring by attending one of the PA Resources Council backyard composting and rain barrel workshops in Allegheny County in April and May.

* New Curbside Recycling Rule In Centre County To Be Enforced Beginning April 7

The Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority would like to remind all curbside residents, that as of April 7, all paper recycled curbside must be bagged or bundled or it will not be taken. 

* DEP Releases 2012 Natural Gas Drilling Emissions Inventory Data

The Department of Environmental Protection Thursday released annual emissions data for the natural gas drilling industry. The inventory represents 2012 emissions levels from Marcellus Shale natural gas production and processing operations as well as compressor stations that receive gas from traditional oil and gas well sites.

* Free Brownfields Redevelopment Seminar May 2 In Meadville

The Department of Environmental Protection invites municipal, township and borough leaders, county and city planners, redevelopment authorities, community leaders, and economic and industrial development agencies to a seminar, What All Local Governments Need to Know about Brownfields, on May 2.

* PA Economic Development Assn. Fostering Leadership Competencies Webinar May 7

The PA Economic Development Association will host a Fostering Leadership Competencies webinar on May 7 starting at 2:00 p.m..  Click Here for details.

* Regional Keystone Energy Education Program Workshop In Erie April 22

The Department of Environmental Protection invites middle school teachers, administrators and building managers to an April 22 training workshop in Erie on the Keystone Energy Education Program (KEEP) to teach and track energy efficiency in school buildings and homes.

* Dominion Offers $1.3 Million In Energy, Environment Education Grants

School teachers and college faculty members in areas served by Dominion companies now can apply for $1.3 million in educational grants to fund energy, environment and workforce related programs.  Applications are due May 1 for new projects for the 2014-2015 school year.

* PRC Hosts PECO Smart Ideas Energy Conservation Workshops

The PA Resources Council and PECO will present Smart Ideas energy conservation workshops at nine different events in Southeast Pennsylvania during April.

* Saint-Gobain Receives Energy Star Partner Award From EPA

Valley Forge-based Saint-Gobain in Chester County Thursday announced it has been awarded the Energy Star Partner of the Year Sustained Excellence Award by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the fourth consecutive year.

* Liberty Property Trust Receives EPA Energy Star Partner Of The Year Award

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has honored Liberty Property Trust in Malvern, Chester County, with an Energy Star Partner of the Year designation for the third consecutive year – and in doing so has also given it the organization’s highest honor: the Sustained Excellence Award.

* PUC Adopts New Electric Supplier Disclosure Statements For Variable Rate Offers

The Public Utility Commission Thursday finalized regulation changes that provide electric shopping customers with greater, uniform detail in electric supplier disclosure statements and more timely information on “contract renewal” and “change in terms” notices (Docket No. L-2014-2409385).

* PUC Accelerates Switching Times For Electricity Suppliers, Responding To Rate Spikes

The Public Utility Commission Thursday finalized regulation changes that dramatically reduce the time it takes customers to change electricity suppliers (Docket No. L-2014-2409383).

* Brandywine Conservancy Will Plant 25,000th Tree April 19

The Brandywine Conservancy’s Reforestation Campaign will achieve its five-year goal ahead of schedule when it plants its 25,000th tree in East Brandywine Township, Chester County, on April 19.

* New Video Commemorates Pittsburgh Treevitalize Planting 20,000th Tree

A new video commemorates TreeVitalize Pittsburgh reaching its initial goal of planting 20,000 trees in the Pittsburgh area—enough trees to fill New York City’s Central Park.

* Sen. Yudichak, DCNR Announce $4M Grant For Mocanaqua Mountain Land Acquisition

Sen. John Yudichak (D-Luzerne), Minority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, Friday joined Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Ellen Ferretti, local legislators and officials from the North Branch Land Trust and Earth Conservancy at the trailhead to the Mocanaqua Loop Trail to announce a $4 million grant that will expand the Lackawanna State Forest to include Mocanaqua Mountain.

* Natural Lands Trust Preserves 163-Acre ConaMoore Farm In Chester County

Natural Lands Trust announced recently the conservation of ConaMoore Farm, a 163-acre property in East Nantmeal Township, Chester County.

* Western PA Conservancy Protects Land To Expand Erie Wildlife Reserve

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy has permanently protected 54 acres adjacent to a major protected area; the land will be added to a State Game Land, the Conservancy announced recently.

* April Water, Land, Life Newsletter Available From Western PA Conservancy

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

* Parks & Forests Foundation Invites Public To Capture A Day In The Life Of A State Forest

Members of the public across the state are invited to take part in the PA Parks and Forests Foundation’s “Day in the Life of a State Forest” on April 12.

* Susquehanna Greenway Bicycle And River Fest May 10

The Susquehanna Greenway Partnership is sponsoring a Bicycle and River Fest on May 10 in Williamsport, Lycoming County.  Click Here for all the details.

* DCNR Recognizes City Of Easton With Green Park Award

DCNR Secretary Ellen Ferretti recently presented the City of Easton in Northampton County with the fifth annual Green Park Award for its work at Sullivan Park. The award recognizes excellence in the public park community in utilizing green and sustainable park practices.

* Pennsylvanians Urged To Complete Online Outdoor Recreation Survey

Five years after Pennsylvania’s Outdoor Recreation Plan was written, recreation interests and trends may be different. Is walking still Pennsylvanians favorite outdoor activity? Do people still want trails and on-road bike lanes?

* North Branch Land Trust Dinner, Auction May 14 In Wilkes-Barre

The North Branch Land Trust is holding its 15th Annual Dinner and Auctions on May 14, at the Westmoreland Club in Wilkes-Barre.

* Millersville University Hosting Native Plant Landscaping Conference June 5-7

The 2014 Native Plants in the Landscape Conference will be held June 5-7 at Millersville University, Millersville, Lancaster County.

* Applications Now Being Accepted For State Wildlife Grant Funding

The Fish and Boat Commission Friday announced it is now accepting applications for State Wildlife Grants.  The deadline for applications is May 16.

* DEP’s Live Webcast Of Peregrine Falcon Banding Set For May 13

Thursday the Department of Environmental Protection and Game Commission invited students, teachers and non-formal educators to tune in for the annual Peregrine falcon banding event during a live webcast on May 13.

* Baywings Falconry To Present Live Raptors At Hawk Mountain April 26

Earth Day will have a decidedly feathery feel at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, Kempton, Berks County, thanks to a full-day program by Baywings Falconry on April 26.

* Live Stream Captures Footage Of Eaglets Hatching In Pittsburgh

Pennsylvania’s most famed bald-eagle nest has two new stars.  The first of what could be three eaglets hatched Friday inside a Pittsburgh nest as the magical moment was captured by a camera and live streamed to viewers online.

* Opportunity To Bid On DCNR Projects In Lycoming, Tioga Counties

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources published notice of an opportunity to bid on projects in Lycoming and Tioga Counties.

* Katie Hetherington Cunfer Named DEP Director of External Affairs

Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Chris Abruzzo this week announced the appointment of Katie Hetherington Cunfer as Director of External Affairs.

* Help Wanted: Allegheny Land Trust - Land Stewardship Coordinator

The Allegheny Land Trust is in search of a full-time Land Stewardship Coordinator who oversees stewardship activities of the organization’s conservation areas which includes coordinating volunteer recruitment, facilitating community engagement and planning events at specific conservation areas. 

* 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 Department of Environmental Protection published notice of an air quality redesignation request for the Allentown Maintenance Area and a May 8 public hearing in DEP’s Wilkes-Barre office.

* 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.

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