Scrapbook Photo 07/11/20 - PA Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan Team Meets July 20; A Lot Has Happened: http://bit.ly/3iTwHgh
Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, June 16, 2014
(6/16/2014)
* Gov. Corbett, Challenger Tom Wolf Discuss Environmental Issues At PEC Dinner

Gov. Tom Corbett and Democratic candidate for Governor Tom Wolf Wednesday discussed environmental issues in remarks before the annual dinner of the PA Environmental Council in Philadelphia.  It was the first time the two candidates appeared at the same time in any forum.

* Marcellus Industry Coalition Poll Shows 55% In PA Support Adding Severance Tax, But

A new poll released Tuesday by the Marcellus Shale Coalition found 55 percent of those following the debate about a new severance tax would favor its adoption and 34 percent would oppose.  If, however, the new tax would result in the loss of jobs, 58 percent opposed a new severance tax and 33 percent favor.

* Report: Natural Gas Production Booms, Drillers’ Tax Payments Drop

The PA Budget and Policy Center Monday released a new report which found the Corporate Net Income tax payments of Marcellus Shale drilling companies peaked in 2011 and now have an effective tax rate of less than 1.9 percent paying just $10.3 million in 2013.  Individuals pay a 3.07 percent income tax rate.

* Commonwealth Court Delays Decision On Use Of DCNR Oil & Gas Fund Monies

Commonwealth Court Judge Kevin Brobson issued an order Monday dated June 5 delaying a decision in a lawsuit brought by the PA Environmental Defense Fund over the use of DCNR Oil and Gas Fund monies until after the FY 2014-15 saying if the Court issued a ruling before the budget was finalized it would “run afoul of the principle of separation of powers.”

* Report: PA Exceeds Chesapeake Bay Phosphorus Reduction Goal, Misses On Nitrogen

An analysis of selected Chesapeake Bay cleanup milestones conducted by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the Choose Clean Water Coalition found pollution is being reduced, however many jurisdictions fell short in implementing practices that reduce pollution from agricultural sources and urban and suburban polluted runoff.

* Corbett: Tackle State Pension Problems, Then We’ll Talk About The Budget

Gov. Corbett this week issued a clear challenge to the House and Senate Republicans-- seriously tackle the state’s rising state and school employee pension costs and then he’ll talk about ways to plug the expected $1.6 billion budget gap.

* 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--

* Senate/House Bills Moving

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

* Sen. Yudichak: Governor Signs Bill Reducing Lead In Water Supplies

Gov. Tom Corbett has signed Senate Bill 1254  introduced by Sen. John Yudichak (D-Luzerne) that will enhance the quality and safety of drinking water by significantly lowering the lead content in pipes and other plumbing products.

* House Passes Lyme Disease Awareness, Prevention Legislation

The House Wednesday passed Senate Bill 177 (Greenleaf-R-Montgomery) creating the Lyme Disease Task Force in the Department of Health to educate the public about Lyme disease and conduct a tick surveillance program across the Commonwealth.

* House Environmental Committee To Consider Carbon Limit Resolution June 18

The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee is scheduled to meet June 18 to consider  House Resolution 815 (Snyder-D-Fayette) urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to development guidelines regulating carbon emissions from existing power plants that respect the primacy of the Commonwealth and take into account unique policies, energy needs and resources mix and economic priorities of Pennsylvania- sponsor summary.

* House Committee To Consider Public-Private Partnerships For Water, Sewage June 17

The House State Government Committee is scheduled to consider House Bill 2239 (Evankovich -R-Armstrong) which provides for public-private partnerships related to water and sewage treatment services and school construction on June 17.

* Longwall Mining Impact Report Removed From DEP Citizens Advisory Council Agenda

Proposed comments on DEP’s draft Act 54 longwall mining impact report will not be on the June 17 meeting agenda for the DEP Citizens Advisory Council.  The meeting will begin at 9:00 a.m. not the usual 10:00 a.m.  (formal notice of time change)

* Reminder: Northeast Environmental Partners Accepting Award Nominations

The Northeast PA Environmental Partners are accepting nominations for their annual Environmental Partnership Awards, the Thomas P. Shelburne Environmental Leadership Award and the Emergency Environmental Leader Award until July 1.  Click Here for all the details.

* DEP Open House On Permitting Activities In Streams, Wetlands June 26 In Harrisburg

The Department of Environmental Protection Thursday announced it will host an open house from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on June 26 for property owners, homeowners, municipalities and small developers to learn about permitted activities in and along streams and wetlands.

* PA Urban & Community Forest Webinar June 16 On Designing Greener Parking Lots

The PA Urban and Community Forestry Council will hold another of its luncheon webinars on June 16 on Designing Greener Parking Lots starting at noon.

* Tour Shows Success Of Monestary Run Abandoned Mine Drainage Cleanup

DEP Secretary E. Christopher Abruzzo along with Deputy Secretary for Water Management Kelly Heffner recently visited the Saint Vincent College campus in Latrobe to tour the Monastery Run Abandoned Mine Drainage Cleanup Site.

* Contract Awarded For Winslow Township Mine Reclamation Project In Jefferson

The Department of Environmental Protection Tuesday announced it has awarded a Government Financed Construction Contract to P. and N. Coal Company, Inc. of Punxsutawney for a mine reclamation project in Winslow Township, Jefferson County.

* Penn State Researchers Seeking Clearfield County Participants For Marcellus Project

Penn State researchers are seeking Clearfield County residents who are interested in science and energy to participate in the Marcellus Community Science Volunteer Program, a ten-week program exploring the natural and social sciences through the context of natural gas development.

* PA American Water Plants Among Those Receiving National Recognition

PA American Water’s Philipsburg and Huntsville Water Treatment Plants were among several American Water Works Company facilities to receive recognition under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Partnership for Safe Water Program.

* Ephrata Water Plant Completes 3rd Phase Of Partnership For Safe Water

The Ephrata Area Joint Authority Water Treatment Plant in Lancaster County recently completed the third phase of the Partnership for Safe Water, a voluntary effort to provide safe drinking water. 

* DEP: New Oil And Gas Permit Fees Go Into Effect June 14

The Department of Environmental Protection Friday announced the Environmental Quality Board final rulemaking increasing unconventional well permit fees was published in the June 14 PA Bulletin.  The new fees will take effect June 14.  (formal notice)

* PA Housing Authority Issues RFP For Marcellus Shale Housing Funding

The PA Housing Finance Agency Monday issued a Request for Proposals for projects to improve the availability and affordability of housing in the Marcellus Shale region of the state.  Proposals are due August 15.

* June 12 DEP Newsletter Now Available

The June 12 DEP Newsletter is now available.  This month it features an invitation to apply for $12.5 million in clean energy funding, notes the distribution of 2013 drilling impact fees, the success of Monestary Run mine drainage projects and much more.  To sign up to get your own copy, Click Here.

* PA Ranks 6th In U.S. For International Coastal Cleanup Volunteers

Pennsylvania ranked 6th in the nation for the number of volunteers participating in the 2013 International Coastal Cleanup - 9,745 volunteers from 35 counties across Pennsylvania canvassed their communities to remove 459,076 pounds of trash and debris from Pennsylvania’s waterways and coastal regions during the 28th annual International Coastal Cleanup event.

* Tribune Review: Western PA Drivers Can Expect $4 Per Gallon Gasoline By July 4

The Tribune Review reported June 8 Western Pennsylvania drivers should not expect any relief from higher gasoline prices or from the newly-signed legislation to eliminate summer gasoline in the Pittsburgh Region.

* $12.5 Million Available For PA Energy Development Authority Grants, Loans

Gov. Tom Corbett and the Department of Environmental Protection Thursday announced the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority will begin accepting applications June 14 for an estimated $12.5 million in grants and loans for alternative and renewable energy projects, along with projects deploying technologies such as solar energy, wind, hydropower and biomass.

* Sustainable Energy Fund Funding For Energy Efficiency, Clean Energy Projects Available

The Sustainable Energy Fund invites not-for-profit and governmental entities in Pennsylvania to apply for a limited number of loans or leases at zero percent financing to complete energy efficiency or renewable energy projects.

* PUC Releases Summer Readiness Reports From Electric Utilities

The Public Utility Commission Friday released the 2014 Summer Readiness Overview reports from the state’s 11 electric distribution companies and the regional transmission organization, PJM Interconnection.

* Electric Customers Should Be Cautious Of Door-To-Door, Telephone Solicitations

The Public Utility Commission Wednesday reminded Pennsylvania residents to be diligent when weighing electricity offers from door-to-door and telephone solicitors.

* DEP: June 26 Hearing On Chemical Contamination Cleanup In Allegheny County

An on-going investigation by the Department of Environmental Protection indicates that a residential area adjacent to the former National Torch Tip plant in O’Hara Township and Aspinwall Borough may have been impacted by industrial chemical contamination.

* West Nile Virus Spraying Underway In 5 Counties, Learn About Future Spraying Activities

It’s West Nile Virus mosquito season, and spraying operations are underway in several parts of Pennsylvania based on mosquito samples collected by county West Nile Virus Programs and the Department of Environmental Protection.

* Pennsylvania Adds 26 Farms, More Than 2,000 Acres To Preservation Program

The Agricultural Land Preservation Board Friday announced Pennsylvania is adding 2,014 additional acres on 26 farms in 14 counties to the state’s nation-leading farmland preservation program.

* DCNR: New Visitor Center For Delaware Canal State Park Planned In Bucks

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Ellen Ferretti Tuesday announced the department is proceeding with plans to construct a new park office and visitor center for Delaware Canal State Park in the Borough of New Hope, Bucks County.

* State, Civic Leaders Dedicate Benjamin Rush State Park Improvements

Department of Conservation and Natural Resource Secretary Ellen Ferretti Thursday joined other state officials and civic representatives in celebrating completion of a $4.7 million improvement project at Benjamin Rush State Park in Northeast Philadelphia.

* DCNR Resource Newsletter Features Elk Visitor Center, Schuylkill River Celebration

The June 11 DCNR Resource newsletter features these stories--

* Philadelphia, Trust For Public Land Cut Ribbon On Green School Playground

Mayor Michael A. Nutter, Superintendent Dr. William Hite and The Trust for Public Land made two announcements Tuesday regarding the City’s efforts to green schoolyards and recreation centers.

* Delaware Valley High School Student Wins Delaware Highlands Conservancy Scholarship

The Delaware Highlands Conservancy Friday awarded its annual Delaware Highlands Conservancy/Yeaman Scholarship in the amount of $1,000 to Kristen DeVilliers, a 2014 graduate of Delaware Valley High School.

* Wildlife For Everyone: Winners Of Wetlands Through The Camera

The Wildlife For Everyone Endowment Foundation hosted "Explore, Discover and Understand Wetlands Through the Lens of a Camera" on June 9 at the Governor Tom Ridge Wetlands in Centre County.

* Harrisburg Falcon Watch & Rescue Volunteers Video On YouTube

Volunteers this week wrapped up their annual Falcon watch and rescue program as the four young Peregrine falcons have recently fledged from the nest located on the 15th floor ledge of the Rachel Carson State Office Building in Harrisburg.

* Help Wanted: PRC Zero Waste Pennsylvania Program Coordinator

The PA Resources Council is seeking candidates to fill a Zero Waste Pennsylvania Program Coordinator position based in Pittsburgh to manage all aspects of Zero Waste Pennsylvania, including planning and implementation of event services and commercial waste diversion services.

* Help Wanted: The Nature Conservancy-PA Chapter Land Protection Specialist

The Nature Conservancy-PA Chapter is seeking candidates to fill the position of Land Protection Specialist at its Long Pond, Wayne County office.  Click Here for all 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

The Environmental Quality Board published final regulations increasing permit fees for oil and gas well drilling and formal notice the Board accepted rulemaking petitions for study to upgrade Beaverdam, Killbuck and Wyerough Runs in the Clearfield Creek Watershed in Cambria County.

* 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.

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