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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, May 5, 2014
(5/5/2014)
* April State Revenues $328.3M Below Estimate, Revenue Projections Worse

Pennsylvania collected $3.4 billion in General Fund revenue in April, which was $328.3 million, or 8.8 percent, less than anticipated, Secretary of Revenue Daniel Meuser reported Thursday.

* Sen. Ferlo Introduces Bill To Enact A Severance Tax, Overhaul Oil And Gas Regulations

Sen. Jim Ferlo (D-Allegheny) Tuesday announced the introduction of Senate Bill 1359 that will overhaul key requirements of the statute which regulates oil and gas drilling in the Commonwealth, enact a severance tax and impose a two year moratorium on additional drilling in State Forests.

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* 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--

* Senate-House Coal Caucus Says Coal Still Vital Source Of Energy, Jobs

Sen. Tim Solobay (D-Washington) Monday stood with other members of the legislative Coal Caucus and industry leaders to highlight a new study showing coal to be a vital source of energy and jobs in Pennsylvania.

* CBF: Battle Lines Drawn In Appeal Of Chesapeake Bay Restoration Efforts

With the deadline for engaging in the case now past, the final battle lines have been drawn in the fight over Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts. The case pits the American Farm Bureau Federation and its allies against the federal Environmental Protection Agency, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and their allies.

* Pennsylvania Farm Bureau Opposes EPA’s Waters Of The U.S. Proposal

Pennsylvania Farm Bureau voiced its opposition Monday to a recently proposed rule jointly issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers that attempts to expand federal regulation of land areas as “waters of the U.S.,” during a hearing before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure in Altoona.

* Scranton Gets EPA Support For Green Infrastructure In Iron Arts District

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Wednesday announced the City of Scranton is one of 14 communities nationwide to receive EPA support to expand the use of green infrastructure to reduce water pollution and boost resilience to the impacts of climate change.

* Lower Susquehanna Land & Water Conservation Summit Attracts Over 90

On March 31 over 90 professionals came together to share their experiences working on land and water conservation issues.

* PA American Water Awards Environmental Grants To 6 Watershed Projects

PA American Water Wednesday announced six watershed initiatives across the state have earned financial support through the company’s 2014 Environmental Grant Program. The recipients will receive a share of grant funds totaling nearly $35,000 for their community-based projects that improve, restore or protect watersheds.

* Massive Stream Buffer Planting Effort Wraps Up Organized By Western PA Conservancy

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is completing an undertaking that resulted in the planting of thousands of trees and shrubs along some of the region’s streams and creeks.

* DEP Invites Comments On Stony Run, Fayette County Water Quality Standards Review

The Department of Environmental Protection invites comments on the water quality standards review for Stony Run in Fayette County.  (formal notice)

* Water Resources Education Network April/May Water Policy News Available

The April/May issue of Water Policy News from the PA League of Women Voters Water Resources Education Network.

* DEP, DCED, PennDOT Participate In Council Of Great Lakes Governors Meeting

Representatives from the departments of Environmental Protection, Community and Economic Development and Transportation joined dignitaries from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Washington, D.C. and Wisconsin as well as Ontario and Quebec at the Council of Great Lakes Governors meeting on April 25 to 26.

* Wildlands Conservancy Lehigh River Sojourn June 20-23

The Wildlands Conservancy will host the 2014 Lehigh River Sojourn June 20-23.  This annual 28-mile guided paddling trip begins in the Pocono Mountains and ends in Northampton traveling through the region’s metro-wilderness.  Click Here for more information.

* DEP Extends Comment Deadline On Aquatic Resources In-Lieu Of Fee Proposal

The Department of Environmental Protection Wednesday extended the comment deadline to June 23 on a new in-lieu fee program called the Pennsylvania Integrated Ecological Services, Capacity Enhancement and Support Program. (formal notice)

* DEP: Certain Sizes Of Tyler Mountain Bottled Water Could Be Contaminated

DEP’s Pittsburgh Regional Office Monday issued a warning to consumers that Tyler Mountain water, bottled on April 17, 2014, and April 18, 2014, in three, four and five gallon sizes should not be used and consumers should contact Aqua Filter Fresh at 1-800-864-8957 for further instructions.

* Applications For DEP Section 902 Recycling Grants Due August 15

The Department of Environmental Protection announced Saturday it is now accepting applications for Section 902 recycling grants.  The deadline for applications is August 15.  (formal notice)

* Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event May 2-3 In Centre County

Here's your chance to rid your home of old or unwanted hazardous chemicals and be sure they are properly disposed of.

* DEP Southeast Region Hosts Tossed & Found Recycled Art Exhibit

Department of Environmental Protection Secretary E. Christopher Abruzzo Wednesday joined students and faculty from eight Norristown area schools in the opening of “Tossed & Found,” an exhibit of student work made from repurposed and recyclable materials.

* May Issue Of e-PRC Newsletter Now Available From PA Resources Council

The May issue of the e-PRC newsletter is now available from the PA Resources Council.

* Volunteers Clean Up Harrisburg’s Morrison Park

Volunteers from the departments of Environmental Protection and Transportation, along with members of the local U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary participated in the Morrison “Sunshine” Park Cleanup on April 27 in Harrisburg, Dauphin County.

* KPB Surveillance Supports Anti-Dumping Actions In Armstrong, Indiana Counties

As a result of increased enforcement measures in Armstrong and Indiana counties supported by Keep PA Beautiful, there were two citations issued recently.

* TreeVitalize Supports New Trees In The City Of Harrisburg

On Earth Day, a group of volunteers including DCNR Urban Forester Ellen Roane, planted 43 new trees to beautify and shade the North Third Street corridor in Harrisburg.

* Clean Pittsburgh Commission Announces Winners Of The Bob Awards

A number of volunteers, community groups and neighborhoods were honored Thursday at the  Clean Pittsburgh Commission’s Meet and Greet Mixer with the “Bob Awards” for their efforts to beautify city neighborhoods. 

* Corbett Issues Proclamation For Air Quality Awareness Week, Sign Up For Air Alerts

Gov. Tom Corbett Monday issued a proclamation recognizing April 28 through May 2, 2014, as Air Quality Awareness Week in Pennsylvania and the beginning of air quality forecasts by the Department of Environmental Protection.

* May 6 Webinar On DEP White Paper On Controlling CO2 Emissions From Power Plants

The Department of Environmental Protection will hold a webinar starting at 9:30 a.m. on May 6 on  Pennsylvania’s 111(d) Air Emissions White Paper outlining our proposal to reduce emissions from existing power plants.

* DEP Fines Erie Environmental Laboratory $220,000 For Violations

The Department of Environmental Protection Wednesday announced it has signed a Consent Order and Agreement  with Microbac Laboratories, Inc., Erie Division, which requires the lab to pay a civil penalty of $220,000 for various violations. The lab is also required to take actions to correct the violations.

* PA Manufacturers Work With PennTAP To Achieve Energy Savings

Two manufacturers working with the PA Technical Assistance Program (PennTAP) at Penn State have received certification from the U.S. Department of Energy for significantly reducing their energy use.

* May 1 DEP Newsletter Now Available

The May 1 edition of the Department of Environmental Protection newsletter is now available.  Click Here to get your own copy.

* Pennsylvanians Invited To Complete Online Outdoor Recreation Survey

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Ellen Ferretti Wednesday encouraged Pennsylvanians to share what they like to do outdoors in a 5-minute, online survey that will assist with planning.

* PA Parks & Forests Foundation Kicks Off Great Pennsylvania Outdoor Challenge

The PA Parks and Forests Foundation Thursday invited Pennsylvanians to join its sixth annual Great Pennsylvania Outdoor Challenge.

* Erie To Pittsburgh Trail Generates $7 Million In Economic Activity Annually

A recent survey of trail users along the Erie to Pittsburgh Trail between Titusville and Parker by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy showed a total economic impact of more than $7 million annually in local communities.

* DCNR Seeking Information In Bedford County Wildfire

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is seeking the public’s help in the probe of a sprawling Bedford County wildfire last week that investigators have labeled arson.

* Diverse Audience Follows Emerald Ash Borer’s Destructive Path, 2 Workshops Planned

Some of the dead lay felled and sectioned. Others stood leafless, lifeless, contrasted against the vibrant blue that is the Huntingdon County sky in early morning. Together they serve as too-real props in the tragedy that is playing out in stands of trees across Pennsylvania.

* Western PA Conservancy Protects 466 Acres In Clinton County

Hundreds of acres in Clinton County are open to hiking, hunting, fishing and other recreational activities now that the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy has permanently protected a property along the West Branch of the Susquehanna River.

* American Farmland Trust Honors 2 Berks Ag Land Preservation Board Members

American Farmland Trust and the Pennsylvania Farmland Preservation Association Thursday announced Dr. Robert C. Ziegenfus and Victoria Kintzer, two charter members of the Berks County Agricultural Land Preservation Board, are winners of this year's Local Hero Award.

* Susquehanna Greenway Partnership April Newsletter Now Available

The Susquehanna Greenway Partnership April newsletter is now available.  Click Here to read a copy.

* May Issue Of Water, Land, Life Newsletter Now Available From Western PA Conservancy

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

* April 30 Resource Newsletter Now Available From DCNR

The April 30 issue of the Resources newsletter from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

* Statewide Mentored Youth Fishing Day Set For May 10

Excitement is building among anglers and kids for the Fish and Boat Commission’s  popular Mentored Youth Fishing Day, which will be held on May 10 on 41 waters across the state.

* 2 Family Fishing Programs Set For May 17 In Lycoming County

The Fish and Boat Commission, with the help from several partners, are offering 2 different Family Trout Fishing Programs on May 17.  Both programs will be from  12:00 p.m. to 5 p.m. and held at Tombs Flat along Pine Creek, Lycoming County.

* Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Unveils Seasons Of Hawk Mountain Exhibit May 15

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary unveils "Seasons of Hawk Mountain," an exhibit of original juried works by members of the Berks Art Alliance during an opening reception held May 15 from 6 to 8 pm in the Hawk Mountain Visitor Center.

* Op-Ed: Sen. Ray Musto, A Legacy Of Environmental Leadership

By D. Michael Fisher

* Hannah Dowd McPhelin Elected To Central PA U.S. Green Building Council Board

Pepper Hamilton LLP is proud to announce Hannah Dowd McPhelin has been elected to the Board of Directors of the USGBC – Central PA, a Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council. The USGBC – Central PA elected five new individuals to the Board of Directors.

* Help Wanted: PA Resources Council Waste Diversion Specialist

The PA Resources Council is seeking candidates to fill the position of Waste Diversion Specialist in its Pittsburgh Office.  Click Here for details.

* Opportunity To Bid On DEP Well Plugging Projects In Erie, McKean Counties

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice of the opportunity to bid on a well plugging project in Erie County and McKean County.

* 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 Independent Regulatory Review Commission Thursday approved two final Environmental Quality Board regulations, one covering air emissions from flexible packaging printing presses and other similar operations and the oil and gas well fee increases.

* 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.

* CLICK HERE To Print Entire PA Environment Digest

CLICK HERE to Print The Entire PA Environment Digest.

* 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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