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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, Oct. 6, 2014
(10/6/2014)
* Gov. Corbett Accepts Resignation Of DEP Secretary Chris Abruzzo, Glenn Parno

Gov. Tom Corbett Thursday accepted the resignation of DEP Secretary E. Christopher Abruzzo, effective immediately.  Secretary Abruzzo said he made his decision based on the best interest of the important mission of the Department of Environmental Protection.

* Gov. Corbett Names Dana Aunkst Acting Secretary Of DEP

Gov. Tom Corbett Thursday named Dana Aunkst Acting Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection.  Aunkst previously served as Executive Deputy Secretary for Programs, the number two position in the agency.

* Senate Committee Puts Two Bad Environmental Bills On Agenda For Monday

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee is scheduled to meet Monday, October 6 to consider two bad environmental bills-- House Bill 1565 (Hahn-R-Northampton) eliminating the nearly 4 year old requirement for stream buffers in High Quality and Exceptional Value streams and House Bill 2354 (Snyder-D-Fayette) which authorizes one House of the General Assembly to veto any greenhouse gas emission reduction plan required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

* PEC Opposes Bill To Allow The Senate Or House To Veto A PA Climate Plan

The Pennsylvania Environmental Council Monday wrote to members of the Senate expressing its opposition to House Bill 2354 (Snyder-D-Fayette) which authorizes one House of the General Assembly to veto any greenhouse gas emission reduction plan required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency saying the legislation was premature and not in the interests of the Commonwealth. 

* Former DEP Secretary Urges Senators To Oppose Anti-Stream Buffer Bill

David E. Hess, Department of Environmental Protection Secretary under Governors Ridge and Schweiker, wrote to all members of the Senate Tuesday urging them to oppose House Bill 1565 (Hahn-R- Northampton) eliminating the nearly 4 year old requirement for stream buffers in High Quality and Exceptional Value streams if it comes up for a vote in the five remaining days of legislative session.

* CBF-PA Urges Senators To Oppose HB 1565 Eliminating Stream Buffer Rule

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA Wednesday wrote to all members of the Senate urging them to oppose House Bill 1565 (Hahn-R-Northampton) eliminating the nearly 4 year old requirement for stream buffers in High Quality and Exceptional Value streams if it comes up for a vote in the five remaining days of legislative session.

* PEC Urges Senators To Oppose Bill Eliminating Stream Buffers In HQ, EV Watersheds

The PA Environmental Council Tuesday wrote to all members of the Senate Tuesday urging them to oppose House Bill 1565 (Hahn-R-Northampton) eliminating the nearly 4 year old requirement for stream buffers in High Quality and Exceptional Value streams if it comes up for a vote in the five remaining days of legislative session.

* PA Federation Of Sportsmen’s Clubs Urge Opposition To HB 1565 Anti-Buffer Bill

The PA Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs wrote to members of the Senate Wednesday expressing their opposition to House Bill 1565 (Hahn-R-Northampton) eliminating the nearly 4 year old requirement for stream buffers in High Quality and Exceptional Value streams.

* Former DEP Secretary Urges Senate To Pass Water Well Standards Bill

David E. Hess, former Secretary of Environmental Protection under Governors Ridge and Schweiker, Thursday sent a letter to members of the Senate urging them to pass House Bill 343  (Miller-R-York) which would set standards for the construction and abandonment of private water wells. 

* DEP Citizens Advisory Council Urges Senate To Pass Water Well Standards Bill

The DEP Citizens Advisory Council wrote to members of the Senate Friday urging them to pass House Bill 343  (Miller-R-York) which would set standards for the construction and abandonment of private water wells.

* 5 Voting Days Left, Damaging Environmental Bills May Be Headed To Governor

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 environmental legislation on the Governor’s desk when they return October 6.

* DEP Proposes Changes To Oil & Gas Program Enforcement Policy, Spill Reporting

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice of draft technical guidance for public comment in the October 4 PA Bulletin changing the policy for identifying, tracking and resolving oil and gas violations and for coordinating immediate responses and final remediation of spills and releases of substances into soils.

* 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

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 Democratic Policy Committee Hearing On Fracking-Related Health Complaints

The Senate Democratic Policy Committee Wednesday held a hearing in Wilkes-Barre on ways state government can improve how it tracks, monitors and responds to public health complaints related to gas drilling.

* CBF-PA: Northumberland County Commissioners Pass Clean Water Counts! Resolution

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

* Feature: 2014 Ohio River Watershed Celebration A Success!

The Ohio River Watershed Celebration organizing committee provided this summary of activities from the 13th Annual Celebration on September 18. The theme of the Celebration was “Connected Through Our Streams.” Enjoy!

* Feature: WREN: Master Watershed Stewards Programs Up And Running

Efforts to get Master Watershed Steward programs off the ground in Pennsylvania are meeting with success, thanks to a pilot program in the Lehigh Valley area that has now branched out to Montgomery County. 

* Feature: WREN Vanport Twp: A Small System With Tall Order To Preserve Clean Water

In the far reaches of western Pennsylvania, hugging the state's border with Ohio and West Virginia, is a tiny sliver of land in central Beaver County that is Vanport Township.

* Feature: WREN: Partnership Protects Water Supplies Along Susquehanna River

Fewer than 20 percent of the 350 community water systems in the lower Susquehanna River region have assessed existing threats to water supplies and even fewer (about six percent) have developed Source Water Protection (SWP) plans -- plans that delineate recharge areas, inventory potential sources of contamination, and involve community stakeholders in developing strategies for reducing the likelihood of water contamination.

* Feature: WREN: 3 Rivers Alert Information Network Flourishes Thru Collaboration

The River Alert Information Network (RAIN) celebrates its five year anniversary in 2014, and entered a new era with the launch of its new website on September 3.

* Water Resources Education Network, Never Be Out Of Touch On Water Issues

Our online address may have changed, but our message is the same. You can find all of the information you have come to expect from the PA League of Women Voters Water Resources Education Network’s new website.

* September Water Policy News Available From Water Resources Education Network

The September edition of Water Policy News is now available from the PA League of Women Voters Water Resources Education Network featuring articles on--

* EPA Awards Wetlands Protection Grants To DCNR, Penn State

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin Thursday announced the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and Penn State University are among the recipients of Wetland Program Development Grants in the Mid-Atlantic Region.

* Natural Lands Trust Seeks Volunteers For Tree-Planting Party Nov. 8 In Media

The Natural Lands Trust is seeking volunteers for a tree-planting party on November 8 along Crum Creek on the Hildacy Farm Preserve in Media.

* PSU Center For Nutrient Solutions Science For Solutions 4 Seminar Series

The Penn State Center for Nutrient Solutions has schedule a series of four Science for solutions: Combating the Wicked Nutrient Problem over the next three months.  The seminars will be held--

* October Chesapeake Currents Newsletter Available From Chesapeake Bay Program

The October edition of Chesapeake Currents newsletter is now available from the Chesapeake Bay Program featuring articles on --

* Registration Now Open For PA Water Infrastructure Expo Nov. 18-19 In Grantville

The PA Section of the American Water Works Association is now accepting registrations for the PA Infrastructure Expo to be held on November 18-19 in Grantville, near Harrisburg.  Click Here for a detailed agenda, registration information and all the details.

* Keep PA Beautiful Invites Schools To Participate In The Litter Free School Zone Program

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful invites schools in Pennsylvania to participate in the Litter Free School Zone Program, a comprehensive program that can complement lessons designed around recycling, litter awareness, and community stewardship.

* DEP Begins Accepting Environmental Education Grants Oct. 6

The Department of Environmental Protection Thursday invited schools, colleges and universities, county conservation districts, nonprofit organizations, municipalities and businesses to apply for Environmental Education Grants to develop environmental education programs and projects.  (formal notice)

* October 2 DEP News Now Available

The October 2 edition of DEP News is now available from the Department of Environmental Protection featuring articles on--

* PUC Directs More Hearings On Zoning Exemption By Sunoco Pipeline

The Public Utility Commission Thursday remanded requests by Sunoco Pipeline L.P. for zoning exemptions to the PUC’s Office of Administrative Law Judge for further proceedings. The Commission did not rule on the merits of the company’s underlying zoning exemption requests for a facility in Chester County.

* DEP Announces 4 Natural Gas Vehicle Workshops In October

The Department of Environmental Protection and its partners invite fleet managers, municipalities and business owners to attend one of four upcoming natural gas vehicle workshops.

* Apply For Small Business Energy Efficiency, Pollution Prevention Grants Starting Oct. 6

The Department of Environmental Protection invites manufacturers, retailers, service providers, agricultural businesses and other small businesses to apply for a Small Business Advantage Grant to finance pollution prevention and energy efficiency projects.

* EPA Honors 2 PA Manufacturers With Energy Star Award

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Tuesday recognized two Pennsylvania industrial facilities with the Energy Star Combined Heat and Power Partnership Award for their highly efficient CHP systems—energy production systems that decrease energy costs and reduce their carbon emissions, which cause climate change.

* Treasury Launches Financing Program For Advanced Energy Improvements

Local governments, schools, universities, and hospitals that want to reduce energy consumption or use alternative energy sources will have a new option for financing those improvements thanks to an innovative partnership between the Pennsylvania Treasury, the private sector, and leading nonprofits in the energy space.

* PUC Publishes Cybersecurity Best Practices For PA Utilities Guide

In light of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the Public Utility Commission Thursday announced its publication of Cybersecurity Best Practices for Small and Medium Pennsylvania Utilities.

* Save The Date! 2015 PA Brownfields Conference In Erie May 13-15

The Department of Environmental Protection and the Engineers' Society of Western Pennsylvania have announced the 2015 Pennsylvania Brownfields Conference will be held May 13-15, 2015 at the Erie Bayfront Convention Center, Erie.

* Pittsburgh’s Point State Park Named One Of 30 Great Places In America

First Lady Susan Corbett joined officials from DCNR October 1 as Point State Park in Pittsburgh was named one of the "30 Great Places in America" by the American Planning Association.

* 3 Public Meetings In October To Comment On PA Outdoor Recreation Plan

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Ellen Ferretti Tuesday announced the department will hold three public meetings across the state to collect comments on a draft of Pennsylvania’s five-year Outdoor Recreation Plan which guides outdoor recreation programs, policies and projects.

* Manhunt Forces DCNR To Temporarily Close A Portion Of Delaware State Forest

Acting in concert with the Pennsylvania State Police and in the wake of the Game Commission’s temporary suspension of hunting and closure of its game lands within seven townships in northeastern Pennsylvania during an ongoing manhunt, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is closing sections of Delaware State Forest to hunters and others traveling on foot in the woodlands.

* Western PA Conservancy Accepting Applications For Canoe Access Grants

The Western PA Conservancy is now accepting grant applications for new projects that will improve canoe and kayak access to the region’s waterways.  Applications are due November 15.

* October 1 Resource Newsletter Now Available From DCNR

The October 1 edition of the Resource newsletter is now available from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources featuring articles on--

* DCNR Adds Interactive Online Map For Hunters, Other Forest Visitors

Just in time for early-season hunting and the fall foliage viewing season, DCNR has launched a new interactive map of state forest lands across the state.

* Calendar Of Oct., Nov. Events At Lackawanna College Environmental Ed Center

A calendar of October and November events is now available at the Lackawanna College Environmental Education Center website.

* Get Outdoors With Special Events By The Wildlands Conservancy

Special programs on geocaching, beekeeping, fall foliage, bats and much more highlight the Fall schedule of events sponsored by the Wildlands Conservancy in Lehigh County.  Click Here to learn more.

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

The October edition of Water, Land, Life newsletter is now available from the Western PA Conservancy featuring stories on--

* Little Buffalo Building Honors Roger Fickes, Former State Parks Director

On his personal value scale, he will tell you, family always has come first. So fitting then that his two “families” were there to share the honor.

* Governor’s Office Publishes Catalog Of Nonregulatory Documents

The Governor’s Office published what it called a Catalog of Nonregulatory Documents published by state agencies in the October 4 PA Bulletin.  It includes policy statements, guidance manuals, decisions and other materials that provide compliance related information. (PA Bulletin, page 6315)

* 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

The Environmental Quality Board will meet on October 21 with an agenda that includes: Proposed Regulations on the Control of VOC Emissions From Metal Parts, Surface Coatings, Boats; Proposed Regulations on Security Rule for Radioactive Material; Rulemaking Petitions: Ban On Water Fluoridation and Bottled Water Fluoride Labeling; and the 3-Year Fee Report for Chapter 102 Erosion and Sedimentation Control Program. Click Here for available handouts. The meeting will be held in Room 105 Rachel Carson Building starting at 9:00.

* 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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