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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, Sept. 29, 2014
(9/29/2014)
* PEC Urges Senate To Pass Water Well Standards Bill To Protect Rural Water Supplies

The PA Environmental Council Friday urged members of the Pennsylvania Senate to pass House Bill 343 (Miller-R-York) designed to help protect rural water supplies by requiring the adoption of construction and decommissioning standards for private water wells.

* CBF-PA: House Passes Bill Rolling Back Protection For Clean Water 119 To 79

Harry Campbell, Pennsylvania Director for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation issued the following statement Monday in response to House passage of House Bill 1565 (Hahn-R-Northampton) eliminating the nearly 4 year old requirement for stream buffers in High Quality and Exceptional Value streams.

* PA Environmental Council Calls For Opposition To Buffer Rollback Bill

The PA Environmental Council Monday wrote to members of the House Monday opposing House Bill 1565 (Hahn-R-Northampton) eliminating the nearly 4 year old requirement for stream buffers in High Quality and Exceptional Value streams.

* Fish & Boat Commission: Support Water Resources, Oppose House Bill 1565

The following letter was sent by John Arway, Executive Director of the Fish and Boat Commission, to all members of the House urging them to support water resources and oppose House Bill 1565 (Hahn-R-Northampton) eliminating the nearly 4 year old requirement for stream buffers in High Quality and Exceptional Value streams.

* PA League Of Women Voters Opposes Anti-Buffer House Bill

The PA League of Women Voters wrote to members of the House Sunday opposing House Bill 1565 (Hahn-R-Northampton) eliminating the nearly 4 year old requirement for stream buffers in High Quality and Exceptional Value streams.

* DEP Commits To Action Plan To Improve State Waters, Chesapeake Bay

The Department of Environmental Protection Monday announced its commitment work with bay partners and interested stakeholders to develop to an action plan to reach the goals outlined in the recently signed Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement.

* CBF-PA: Berks, Luzerne Counties Pass Clean Water Counts! Resolutions

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA Monday applauded the Berks and Luzerne County Commissioners for adopting a Clean Water Counts! resolution, calling on state officials to make clean water a top priority for the Keystone State. 

* Sen. Pileggi: Pension Reform, Liquor Privatization Not Likely, Severance Tax Coming

Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-Delaware) told a hometown newspaper neither liquor privatization nor pension reform, two priority items for Gov. Corbett, are likely to go to the Governor’s desk before the voting session ends on October 15.

* Damaging Environmental Bills May Be Headed To Governor In Last 5 Days Of Session

With just five voting days left this session for the House and Senate-- October 6, 7, 8, 14, 15-- the General Assembly is poised to end the year by putting damaging legislation on the Governor’s desk when they return October 6.

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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--

* 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--

* Governor Signs Bill Giving Municipalities Flexibility To Better Maintain Local Parks

Rep. Robert Freeman (D-Lehigh) said Gov. Tom Corbett has signed House Bill 1052 (Freeman-D-Lehigh) into law gives municipalities the ability to direct recreation fees for the benefit of all residents of their communities.

* Bill Creating DEP Aggregate Advisory Board Signed Into Law

The House gave final approval this week to Senate Bill 1155 (Scarnati-R- Jefferson) creating a Aggregate Advisory Board within DEP sending the bill to the Governor for his action.  The Governor signed the bill into law as Act 137.

* Senate Passes Bill To Help Towns Recover From Disasters

The Senate Tuesday passed Senate Bill 720 (Baker-R-Luzerne) which creates a state disaster assistance program to provide grants to county and municipal governments suffering from flash floods, tornadoes and other localized disasters.

* House Committee OKs Nuclear Fee Bill, Oil & Gas Production Testing Resolution

The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee Tuesday reported out a bill increasing nuclear reactor and nuclear fuel transportation fees and a resolution urging DEP to use the latest technology to test for radioactivity related to oil and gas production--

* Bill To Expand Natural Gas Availability To Consumers OK’d By House Committee

House Bill 2393 (Kampf-R-Chester)  providing a program to extend natural gas delivery to unserved or underserved areas- sponsor summary-- was reported out of the House Consumer Affairs Committee Tuesday and Tabled.

* Oct. 6 Environmental Issues Forum: Keep PA Beautiful Anti-Dumping Recommendations

The Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee will hold  an Environmental Issues Forum on October 6 featuring recommendations for significantly reducing illegal dumping in Pennsylvania by Keep PA Beautiful.

* Federal Agencies Announce 5-Year Great Lakes Restoration Action Plan

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy Wednesday released a new Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) Action Plan that lays out steps that federal agencies will take during the next five years to protect water quality, control invasive species and restore habitat in the largest surface fresh water system in the world.

* PennVEST, DEP Announce Results Of Nutrient Credit Trading Auction

The PA Infrastructure Investment Authority and the Department of Environmental Protection, along with financial information services company Markit, have held the third “forward” auction in 2014 for the sale and purchase of nutrient credits in Pennsylvania’s Chesapeake Bay watershed.

* CBF-PA, Partners Schedule Tree Plantings In Lancaster, Lebanon Counties

“Fall is in the air, and that means it is tree planting season!,” said Kate Austin, Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA Grassroots Field Specialist.  “Perhaps there's nothing more rewarding—and more important for Bay restoration and the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint—than planting a tree.”

* Martins Mill Bridge Park Tree Planting Volunteer Event Oct. 11 In Franklin County

Looking for a fun family event this autumn? Come on out and plant a tree at Antrim Township’s Martins Mill Bridge Park on Saturday October 11 beginning at 9:00 a.m.

* DEP Invites Information For Stream Studies In Cambria, Delaware, Monroe Counties

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice it is conducting stream redesignations for streams in Delaware and Monroe counties and Cambria County.

* September Catalyst Now Available From Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition

The September edition of The Catalyst newsletter is now available from the Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition in Butler County featuring articles on--

* Penn State Extension Sept. 24 Watershed Winds Newsletter

The September 24 issue of Watershed Winds newsletter is now available from Penn State Extension featuring articles on--

* PA Section American Water Resources Assn. Annual Conference Oct. 17

The PA Section of the American Water Resources Association will hold its Annual Conference on October 17 at the Susquehanna River Basin Commission offices, 4423 N. Front St., in Harrisburg starting at 9:00.

* EPA Awards Excellence In Site Reuse Award To Lehigh Gap Nature Center

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin Friday presented the Lehigh Gap Nature Center in Lehigh County and its Executive Director Dan Kunkle with a 2014 Excellence in Site Reuse Award.

* Project WET Educator Workshops Set In October, November, December

Several Project WET educator workshops have been scheduled in October, November and December--

* September EE Resources Newsletter From PA Assn. Of Environmental Educators

The September issue of EE Resources newsletter is now available from the PA Association of Environmental Educators featuring articles on--

* DEP Reminds Students To Submit Entries For National Radon Poster Contest

The Department of Environmental Protection Wednesday urged Pennsylvania students, ages nine to 14, to enter a national radon poster contest designed to help raise awareness about the dangers of radon. The deadline to enter is October 31.

* EPA: Training Childcare Workers To Protect Children From Environmental Hazards

Childcare professionals are invited to a one-day training course aimed at creating healthier environments in and around child care facilities, by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency which is co-sponsoring the workshop.

* DEP Releases Draft Conventional, Unconventional Oil & Gas Well Regulation Split

The Department of Environmental Protection Thursday released revised Chapter 78 drilling regulations which split conventional well standards in a new Chapter 78 and unconventional (Marcellus Shale) well requirements in Chapter 78a during the Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board meeting.

* DEP Fines NFG Midstream $250,000 For Pipeline Construction Violations in Lycoming

The Department of Environmental Protection Wednesday announced it has fined NFG Midstream Trout Run LLC of Erie $250,000 for multiple violations of the Clean Streams Law and department regulations during construction of the Trout Run Gathering System pipeline in five Lycoming County municipalities during 2011 and 2012.

* Auditor General Releases Citizen’s Guide To Drilling-Related Water Complaints

As a follow-up to a recently released audit that was critical of the Department of Environmental Protection’s oversight of shale gas development and response to citizen complaints, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale Thursday released a 4-page “Citizen’s Guide to Shale Gas Development and Water Quality Complaints.”

* PG PowerSource: Day In The Life Of DEP Oil & Gas Inspector

The Post-Gazette PowerSource Tuesday published an article on the day in the life of a longtime Pennsylvania DEP oil and gas inspector John Sengle.  The story provides a glimpse into the day-to-day job of enforcing DEP’s oil and gas regulations. Here are links to the article and related stories--

* DEP Natural Gas Vehicle Workshop In Montgomery County Oct. 10

The Department of Environmental Protection, along with partners at Eastern Pennsylvania Alliance for Clean Transportation, invites fleet managers, municipalities and business owners to a natural gas vehicle lunch and learn workshop from 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. on October 10, at DEP’s Southeast Regional Office, 2 E. Main St., Norristown.

* Call For Presentations: 2015 PA Environmental Professionals Conference May 6-8

The PA Association of Environmental Professionals is soliciting proposals for presentations and posters for its 2015 Annual Conference to be held May 6-8 at Toftrees Resort in State College, Pa.  The deadline for submissions is November 8.

* EPA Announces Grant Opportunities To Reduce Diesel Emissions At Ports

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Monday announced the availability of up to $5 million in grant funding to establish clean diesel projects aimed at reducing emissions from marine and inland water ports located in areas of poor air quality.

* PPL Electric Utilities Unveils Newest Tool For Saving Energy And Money

There’s a new tool for PPL Electric Utilities residential customers looking to save energy and money.

* 3 FirstEnergy Utilities Issue RFP For Solar Photovoltaic Alternative Energy Credits

FirstEnergy Corp. Wednesday announced a Request for Proposal will be issued to purchase 48,500 Solar Photovoltaic Alternative Energy Certificates annually over a two-year period on behalf of three of FirstEnergy's Pennsylvania utilities – Pennsylvania Power Company, Pennsylvania Electric Company, and Metropolitan Edison Company.

* PUC To Hold 2nd Hearing On Combined Heat And Power Technology Oct. 7

The Public Utility Commission will hold an en banc hearing on the use of combined heat and power (CHP) technology on October 7 at the University of Pittsburgh.

* Exelon Recognized For Corporate Sustainability Performance

Exelon has been named to two independent indexes – the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices  and CDP – in recognition of its corporate sustainability performance and reporting of climate-related information.

* DEP Commends Underground Mining Industry For Safety

The Department of Environmental Protection Tuesday announced it has been over five years since the last fatality occurred at a Pennsylvania underground mining operation. This includes anthracite, bituminous and industrial minerals underground mines throughout the state.

* Westmoreland Land Trust: 5 Years Of Preserving Open Space

The Westmoreland Land Trust is hosting a celebration on October 3 marking the nonprofit organization’s fifth anniversary of acquiring open space for the citizens of Westmoreland County…and officially turning its latest acquisitions, three parcels totaling 74.8 acres, over to Murrysville to expand the municipality’s Duff Park.

* Friends Of The Wissahickon Schedule October Walks In The Park

Enjoy October in the Wissahickon, when Friends of the Wissahickon Trail Ambassadors are offering free hikes in Wissahickon Valley Park in Philadelphia.  Click Here for a complete schedule of activities.

* Pinnacle Overlook In Lancaster County Now In State Park System

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Bureau of State David Kemmerer Monday announced the department will now manage the 80-acre Pinnacle Overlook in Lancaster County after finalizing a cooperative agreement with the Lancaster County Conservancy.

* DCNR, Partners Celebrate Dedication Of Chester County Trail Segment

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Ellen Ferretti Thursday joined Chester County officials in celebrating completion of a key segment of the Chester Valley Trail in West Whiteland Township, Chester County.

* South Mountain Speakers To Focus On Recreating The Cider Industry On Oct. 4-5, 11-12

A unique and growing aspect of fruit production in the region will be the topic of the next lecture in the South Mountain Speakers Series on October 4-5 and 11-12, at the National Apple Harvest Festival in Arendtsville, Adams County.

* Game Commission Board Tables Recreation Use Permit On Game Lands Proposal

The Board of Game Commissioners Tuesday tabled a proposal to create a permit that would be required for those who don’t hold a valid hunting or furtaker license, but who use designated trails on state game lands for bicycling, snowmobiling or horseback riding.

* 21st Annual Wildlife Art Auction At Ned Smith Center Oct. 4

The Ned Smith Center for Nature and Art will hold its 21st Annual Wildlife Art Auction on October 4 in the Center’s Olewine Gallery in Millersburg, Dauphin County.

* Invitation To Bid On DCNR, DEP Projects

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources published notice of an invitation to bid on projects in Clarion and York counties.

* Help Wanted: Web Writer/Social Media Manager Alliance For Chesapeake Bay

The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay seeks a Web Writer/Content Manager/Social Media Specialist for the Chesapeake Bay Program Communications Office in Annapolis, Maryland. 

* Public Participation Opportunities/Calendar Of Events

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.  It also gives you a heads-up on House and Senate Committee meetings, conferences and other interesting events.  Meetings are in Harrisburg unless otherwise noted.  NEW means new from last week.  Go to the online Calendar webpage for updates.

* 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.

* General Environmental/Budget 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---

* Watershed/Flooding NewsClips

Here are NewsClips on watershed topics from around the state--

* Regulations, Technical Guidance & Permits

No new regulations published this week.  Pennsylvania Bulletin - September 27, 2014

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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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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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