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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, Dec. 22, 2014
* Gov.-Elect Wolf Names More Than 250 To Transition Agency Review Teams

Gov.-elect Wolf Monday named more than 250 people as members of his Agency Review Teams.  Click Here for a complete list of Review Team members.  Here are some key agency review team appointments.

* Sen. Brewster Details Severance Tax For Education, Local Governments

Sen. Jim Brewster (D-Allegheny) Tuesday said he will soon introduce a plan that would earmark revenue from a new shale gas extraction tax for public schools while retaining current well impact fees that support local government operations.

* Rep. Harper Proposes Severance Tax To Help Fund Public School Pension Costs

Rep. Kate Harper (R-Montgomery) announced Thursday she is introducing legislation to place a severance tax on natural gas drilling in the Commonwealth.

* Drilling Industry: People In Harrisburg Changed, Not The Impact Of A Severance Tax

Representatives of Associated Petroleum Industries of Pennsylvania, the Marcellus Shale Coalition and the PA Independent Oil and Gas Association Tuesday held a press conference to again express their opposition to a severance tax on natural gas production.

* New York Dept. Of Health Recommends Fracking Ban

The New York Department of Health has completed its public health review of high-volume hydraulic fracturing and Acting DOH Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker recommended Wednesday that high-volume hydraulic fracturing should not move forward in New York State.

* 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, 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--

* Rep. Godshall, Rep. Harper Plan To Introduce Water Well Standards Bills

Rep. Robert Godshall (R-Montgomery) and Rep. Kate Harper (R-Montgomery) have both announced plans to reintroduce legislation setting standards for water well constructions.

* DEP Publishes Interim Final Policy Implementing Mandatory Stream Buffer Changes

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the December 20 PA Bulletin asking for comments on an interim final policy implementing Act 162 of 2014 relating to mandatory stream buffer requirements.

* DEP Publishes Notices On TMDL Plans For Clearfield, Lancaster County Streams

The Department of Environmental Protection published a notice December 20 inviting comments on a proposed Total Maximum Daily Load Plan for Anderson Creek in Clearfield County.  (PA Bulletin page 7953)

* Dec. Water Policy News Now Available From Water Resources Education Network

The December issue of Water Policy News is now available from the PA League of Women Voters Water Resources Education Network featuring stories on--

* DEP Awards Contract For Mine Reclamation Project In Luzerne County

The Department of Environmental Protection Tuesday announced it has awarded a $2,696,723 contract to Earthmovers Unlimited, Corp. of Kylertown, Clarion County, to restore 88-acres of abandoned mine land on Curry Hill-Avondale in Plymouth Township, Luzerne County.

* EPA: Coal Ash Not A Hazardous Waste, Sets New Disposal Rules

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Friday announced the first national regulations to provide for the safe disposal of coal combustion residuals (coal ash) from coal-fired power plants.

* Keep PA Beautiful: Wawa Newest Great American Cleanup Of PA Supporter

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Wednesday announced Wawa as their newest sponsor of the 2015 Great American Cleanup of PA, their annual signature event.

* Getting A New Electronic Gadget As A Holiday Gift? Recycle The Old One

Are you getting a new electronic gadget as a holiday gift?  Do a little research now on how you can recycle or reuse the old one before you just throw it out.

* Observer-Reporter: Work On Regional Energy Policy Powers Up

The December 11 Power Of 32 Conference brought together business, government, non-profit and other leaders in four states to talk about creating a joint energy strategy for Western PA and the three adjoining states.

* 5 Youth Projects Receive PECO Green Region Grants

From growing community herb gardens to building outdoor nature classrooms, PECO is awarding $50,000 in grants to local environmental projects to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the PECO Green Region Program.

* PUC: Technical Manual On Energy Efficiency Measures Updated

The Public Utility Commission Thursday approved an updated Technical Reference Manual, which is used to assess energy savings attributable to energy efficiency and demand response measures for the implementation of the state’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards of Act 213 and the energy efficiency and conservation provisions of Act 129 of 2008.

* Further Comments On Retail Natural Gas Markets Sought By PUC

The Public Utility Commission Thursday directed its Office of Competitive Market Oversight (OCMO) to move forward with an investigation into Pennsylvania’s retail gas market as well as seek comments on issues related to its investigation.

* PUC Seeks Comments On Proposal For Annual Fees For Electric, Gas Suppliers

The Public Utility Commission Thursday voted to adopt a Tentative Implementation Order for Act 155 of 2014 (Act 155), which, among other things, allows the Commission to assess electric generation suppliers (EGSs) and natural gas suppliers (NGSs).

* Report: Relationship Of Drilling To Crime, Traffic Fatalities, STDs And Rents

Communities in Pennsylvania experiencing high-intensity Marcellus Shale drilling also are seeing significant increases in crime, housing costs, traffic fatalities and their rate of sexually transmitted diseases, a new analysis released Wednesday by the Multi-State Shale Research Collaborative.

* Cong. Thompson: Fish & Wildlife Service Endangered Species Decisions Questioned

The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee Tuesday released a report questioning the impartiality and accountability of the peer review process in recent Endangered Species Act listing decisions issued by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, which is the primary agency with authority over ESA designations.  

* Game Commission Seedling Sales Begin January 5

While it might be winter, landowners can begin making plans to help wildlife this spring – and beyond – by planting tree and shrub seedlings offered by the Game Commission’s Howard Nursery.  The 2015 seedling order form will soon be available online, and sales are set to begin January 5.

* Registration Now Open For IronMaster’s Challenge 50K, 15K Runs On April 26

The Central PA Conservancy and the Susquehanna Appalachian Trail Club are now accepting registrations for the 2015 IronMasters 50K and 15K runs on April 26 in and around Pine Grove Furnace State Park in Cumberland County.  Click Here for complete details.

* Auditor General: Special Report On Potential Lost Revenue From Tax Exempt Properties

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale Thursday released a special report on property tax exemptions that might be costing local municipalities, counties and school districts more than $1.5 billion in property tax revenue in the 10-county sample examined for the report.

* Help Wanted: The Outdoor Classroom Facilitators, Intern Positions

The Outdoor Classroom in Pittsburgh, which encourages hands-on learning about the environment, is seeking candidates to fill its Spring and Summer Environmental Program Facilitator positions and a summer non-paid intern position.  Click Here for all the details.

* 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 were published this week.   Pennsylvania Bulletin - December 20, 2014

* CLICK HERE To Print Entire PA Environment Digest

CLICK HERE to Print The Entire PA Environment Digest.

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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:

* 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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