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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, Oct. 13, 2014
(10/13/2014)
* Last 2 Days Of Voting Session Coming Up, Senate Not Interested In Lame Duck

Tuesday and Wednesday of next week will be the last two days of voting session for the year, if the Senate sticks by its opposition to a lame duck session after election day.

* Sen. Rafferty Blunts Efforts To Have 1-House Veto Of PA Climate Plan, Not Over Yet

An amendment offered in the Senate Appropriations Committee by Sen. John Rafferty (R-Montgomery) Wednesday has blunted efforts to pass 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.

* Senate Puts Anti-Stream Buffer Bill In Position For A Final Vote, Not Over Yet

The Senate Wednesday put House Bill 1565 (Hahn-R-Northampton), that environmental groups say weakens DEP requirements for stream buffers in Special Protection Watersheds, in position for a final vote next week, the final two days of session.

* CBF-PA Urges Senators To Oppose Anti-Stream Buffer Bill Ahead Of Final Vote

Harry Campbell, Pennsylvania Director of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, sent a letter to all members of the Senate Wednesday urging them to oppose House Bill 1565 (Hahn-R-Northampton) they say weakens DEP requirements for stream buffers in Special Protection Watersheds.  The bill is in position for a final vote during the final two days of voting session next week.

* Report: PA Would See A $6.2 Billion Economic Benefit From Chesapeake Bay Cleanup

Implementing the Chesapeake Bay Blueprint will have a significant, positive benefit for Pennsylvania’s economy increasing the value of the natural services provided through the cleanup by $6.2 billion annually, from $32.6 to $38.8 billion, the second highest benefit to any Bay state, according to a new report issued by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation Monday.

* 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--

* 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--

* Senate Passes Bill Promoting Conventional Oil Production In PA

The Senate Wednesday passed Senate Bill 1310 (Hutchinson-R-Venango) that prime sponsor Sen. Scott Hutchinson said will protect and promote conventional oil production in Pennsylvania and protect the conventional oil production industry from state regulations designed to cover companies extracting Marcellus Shale gas

* Senate Passes Bill Providing Options To Customers Facing Utility Shut-Offs

The Senate Wednesday unanimously approved House Bill 939 (Godshall-R-Montgomery)that would give customers who have special needs more protections from utility shut-offs, according to Sen. Tommy Tomlinson (R-Bucks).

* Senate Committee Reports Out Green State Building, Other Bills

In addition to reporting out House Bill 1565 (Hahn-R-Northampton) weakening DEP’s stream buffer program and House Bill 2354 (Snyder-D-Fayette) which authorizes one House of the General Assembly to veto any greenhouse gas emission reduction plan, the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee Monday reported out legislation requiring state buildings to meet green standards, bills related to oil and gas royalty payments and landfill leachate collection.

* Joint Conservation Committee Hears Recommendations On Reducing Rural Dumping

Shannon Reiter, President of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, Monday appeared before the Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee to present recommendations on how to reduce illegal dumping in Pennsylvania.

* Sept. Environmental Synopsis Now Available From Joint Conservation Committee

The September edition of the Environmental Synopsis newsletter is now available from the Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee featuring articles on--

* Friends Of Tom Ridge Environmental Center Honor Naturalist Jerry McWilliams

The Erie Times-News reported Erie naturalist Jerry McWilliams was honored by the Friends of the Tom Ridge Environmental Center with the John C. Oliver Environmental Leadership Award on October 10 at a Sunset Celebration at the Presque Isle Lighthouse in Erie.

* DEP Seeks $4.5 Million Penalty From EQT For Drilling-Related Pollution In Tioga County

The Department of Environmental Protection Tuesday announced it has filed a complaint with the Environmental Hearing Board requesting a $4.5 million civil penalty from EQT Production Company of Washington, Pa., for a major pollution incident in 2012 at the company’s Phoenix Pad S location in Duncan Township, Tioga County.

* EQT Drilling Company Files Counter-Complaint Challenging Clean Streams Law

EQT Corporation Tuesday announced it has filed a complaint in Commonwealth Court against the Department of Environmental Protection after unsuccessful attempts to resolve its liability for a 2012 accidental discharge from a well pad impoundment in Duncan Township, Tioga County. 

* Review: DEP Proposes Tough New Policy For Enforcing Oil & Gas Violations

by R. Timothy Weston and Tad J. Macfarlan, K&L Gates

* DEP Citizens Advisory Council To Discuss Oil & Gas Enforcement Policy Changes

On October 21 DEP Citizens Advisory Council will hear a presentation on proposed changes to DEP’s Oil and Gas Enforcement Policies published on October 4 for public comment.

* StateImpact, Post-Gazette: State Court Hears Arguments On State Forest Drilling

StateImpact and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Wednesday reported Commonwealth Court heard arguments in the case of PEDF v. Commonwealth challenging withdrawals from the DCNR Oil and Gas Fund to balance the state budget using revenues from State Forest Marcellus Shale drilling leases.

* Drilling Impact Fees Support $9.3 Million Effort To Improve Local Housing

Gov. Tom Corbett Thursday announced the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Authority approved $9.3 million for 45 housing programs and projects improve the availability and affordability of housing in 29 counties.

* Shale Drilling And Public Health: A Day Of Discovery Oct. 26-27

The PA League of Women Voters Pennsylvania Shale and Public Health Committee will hold its second annual Shale Drilling and Public Health: Days of Discovery Conference in Pittsburgh October 26-27.

* Mansfield Creates Environment Institute On Shale, Other Issues, Speaker Series Starts

Mansfield University President Fran Hendricks Wednesday announced the creation of The Institute of Science and the Environment at Mansfield University, Tioga County.

* DEP Submits Comments On EPA’s Waters Of The U.S. Rule

On Wednesday the Department of Environmental Protection submitted comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on its proposed clarification of the Waters of the United States rule which determines when water quality permits are needed.

* Brodhead Watershed Assn. Hosts Watershed Walk #8 Oct. 18

Join Brodhead Watershed Association and Pocono Heritage Land Trust members and friends on October 18 for the next “Where in the Watershed” Walks led by naturalist Don Miller and naturalist and wild plant and old growth forest enthusiast, Bill Sweeney in Monroe County.

* Chester Ridley Crum Watersheds Assn. Seeks Volunteers For October Tree Plantings

As part of its efforts to improve water and habitat quality, the Chester Ridley Crum Watersheds Association in Chester and Delaware counties is hosting three streamside tree planting events in October.  Volunteers are needed to assist with each planting.  No prior experience is necessary. 

* StormwaterPA.org Premier Of Wissahickon Watershed Video Nov. 11

StormwaterPA.org Tuesday announced the November 11 premier of a new video, A Healthy Wissahickon: We All Have A Part To Play in its October newsletter.

* Local Colleges, Universities Compete In PA American Water’s UTAP Challenge

Colleges and universities from across the Commonwealth hope people “Like” them on Facebook  to win a new, convenient device for filling  reusable  bottles with cool refreshing water.

* EPA: 2,400 Urban Students To Get Unique Water Education Experience

As many as 2,400 urban students will paddle the Delaware River and other area waterways, test the quality of the waters and learn about key water issues over the next two weeks as the national “Canoemobile” program rolls into Delaware Basin cities.

* Public Hearing Oct. 22 On Application For Manure Storage Facilities In Fulton County

The Department of Environmental Protection will hold a public hearing on October 22, to accept comments on a Water Quality Management permit application for manure storage facilities at a proposed swine farm in Ayr Township, Fulton County.

* DEP To Hold Brownfields Redevelopment Seminar In Wilkes-Barre Oct. 23

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 October 23 in Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County

* Public Meeting, Hearing Oct. 21 To Discuss Cleanup Of Berks County Battery Casing Site

The Department of Environmental Protection will hold a public meeting and hearing on October 21 to outline its plan to clean up lead-contaminated battery casings and soil at a residential property on Franklin Road in Hamburg Borough, Berks County.

* Keep PA Beautiful Announces 2014 Tire War Champion In Central Pennsylvania

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful would like to congratulate their local affiliates-- Keep Huntingdon County Beautiful, Keep Juniata County Beautiful, PA CleanWays of Mifflin County, and Keep Perry County Beautiful--  on a successful ninth annual Tire War, a friendly competition to compete for the most tires collected at their perspective special collections.

* October e-PRC Newsletter Now Available From PA Resources Council

The October issue of the e-PRC newsletter is now available from the PA Resources Council featuring articles on--

* Shooting Range At Little Pine State Park Reopens Following Cleanup, Improvements

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Ellen Ferretti Wednesday announced the shooting range at Little Pine State Park in Lycoming County will reopen on October 10.

* Fall Issue Of Conserve Magazine Available From Western PA Conservancy

The Fall issue of Conserve magazine is now available from the Western PA Conservancy featuring articles on--

* October eConnections Available From Susquehanna Greenway Partnership

The October issue of the eConnections newsletter is available from the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership featuring articles on--

* 2014 PA Botany Symposium Nov. 7-8 In State College

The 2014 PA Botany Symposium will be held at the Penn Stater Conference Center in State College November 7-8.  The Symposium is the premier gathering for botanists from across Pennsylvania to discuss the latest in research, species trends and issues related to botany in the Commonwealth.  Click Here for more information and to register for workshops.

* 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.

* 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 - October 11, 2014

* 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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