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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, Jan. 5, 2015
(1/5/2015)
* Analysis: Funding Deficit For Basic PA Environmental Programs Is Now $2.4 Billion

Pennsylvania’s General Fund budget might be $2 billion in debt, but the Commonwealth’s basic environmental programs have a $2.4 billion deficit accrued over the last 12 years thanks to cuts and diversion of environmental funding to balance the state budget or to fund programs that were not funded on their own.

* DEP Report: 40% Of Streams Show Adverse Impacts Of Underground Coal Mining

The Department of Environmental Protection Tuesday released the fourth in a series of ongoing reports detailing the effects of surface subsidence related to underground bituminous coal mining in Pennsylvania covering the period between 2008-2013.

* Trout Unlimited Raises Concerns About Shale Drilling Hurting Lake Erie

Trout Unlimited is featuring the Lake Erie watershed in a new report highlighting outstanding public fishing and hunting areas in the Central Appalachian region that are at risk from shale gas drilling-related activities.

* DEP Finalizes Policy On Oil & Gas Spill Reporting, Cleanup

The Department of Environmental Protection finalized one of two enforcement and investigative policies related to oil and gas and other spill reporting and cleanup, according to a notice published in the January 3 PA Bulletin.

* Sen. Scarnati Plans To Reintroduce Marcellus Shale Health Advisory Panel Bill

Sen. Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) is circulating a co-sponsor memo on legislation he plans to reintroduce creating a Marcellus Shale Health Advisory Panel he said “similar to” Senate Bill 555 of last session.

* Gov.-Elect Wolf Adds To DEP Transition Agency Review Team

Gov.-Elect Wolf Monday added four new members to his Agency Review Team for DEP: David Masur, PennEnvironment, Josh McNeil, PA League of Conservation Voters, Charlie Schliebs, Managing Director, Stone Pier Capital Advisors, LP and Denise Brinley, Former DEP Deputy Secretary for Environmental Cleanup and Brownfields.  Click Here for the complete agency-by-agency Team members.

* 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, House Open New Legislative Session January 6

Senate and House members return to session on January 6 to swear in new members and to formally begin the 2015-16 legislative session.

* December State Revenues $161.7 Million More Than Anticipated

Pennsylvania collected $2.7 billion in General Fund revenue in December, which was $161.7 million, or 6.3 percent, more than anticipated, Secretary of Revenue Daniel Meuser reported Friday.

* December Environmental Synopsis Now Available From Joint Conservation Committee

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

* EPA OKs DEP 2014 Water Quality Report, Status Of Lower Susquehanna, Monongahela

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved Pennsylvania’s 2014 Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report, the Department of Environmental Protection announced Monday.

* Advisory: Chesapeake Bay Foundation To Release Report On Bay Health January 5

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation will release the 2014 State of the Bay report on January 5 at a 10:30 a.m. press conference at CBF headquarters in Annapolis.

* DEP Awards Grant To Clinton County To Install Farm Conservation Practices

The Department of Environmental Protection Tuesday announced it has awarded a $315,000 grant to the Clinton County Conservation District so it can assist local farmers in the development of agricultural best management practices (BMPs) to prevent future pollution in the Antes Creek Watershed.

* 2015 PA Farm Show Set For January 10 To 17

The 99th annual Pennsylvania Farm Show will be held at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg from January 10 to 17.

* Report Clears Coal Waste Of Affecting Inmates’ Health In Fayette County

After concluding a comprehensive review of conditions at the State Correctional Institution at Fayette, the Department of Corrections has found no credible evidence of any unsafe environmental conditions at the facility or of any abnormalities with regard to the safety and health of inmates at the prison.

* PRC: Learn To Make Non-Toxic Personal Care, Cleaning Products At Workshops

The PA Resources Council will sponsor a series of four workshops in Western PA to teach attendees how to make non-toxic personal care and cleaning products.  The workshops will be held--

* PA Housing Authority Opens Comments On Housing Program Funded By Drilling Fees

The PA Housing Finance Agency Tuesday announced it is inviting public comment on its plan for overseeing the annual allocation of money from the PA Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Fund(formal notice)

* PUC To Host PA Statewide Sustainable Energy Board Meeting Jan. 15

The PA Sustainable Energy Board, in conjunction with the Public Utility Commission, will hold its annual meeting at 11 a.m., January 15 in Hearing Room 1 of the Commonwealth Keystone Building, Harrisburg.

* Comprehensive PA Conservation Heritage Bibliography Released

The Pennsylvania Conservation Heritage Project released an annotated bibliography and supporting documents of Pennsylvania’s conservation history and leaders earlier this month through their Pennsylvania Conservation Heritage website.

* Op-Ed: The Common Man Can Have An Uncommon Impact On Protecting The Environment

By John Arway, Executive Director of the Fish and Boat Commission

* PA Celebrates Winter Trails Day With Get Outdoors PA Events Jan. 10

Outdoor recreation areas across Pennsylvania will be hosting special events and activities January 10 as part of Get Outdoors PA's celebration of Winter Trails Day, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Ellen Ferretti said Monday.

* Appalachian Trail Museum Seeks Hall Of Fame Inductees

Marcus Schneck reported on PennLive Friday, the Appalachian Trail Museum in York County is seeking inductees for the Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame.  Successful nominees for the Class of 2015 will be recognized for their significant contributions to establishing and maintaining the Appalachian Trail.  The deadline for nominations is February 28.  Click Here to nominate a person online.  Click Here to download a nomination form.

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

The December issue of Water, Land, Life newsletter is now available from the Western PA Conservancy featuring articles on--

* Westmoreland Land Trust Acquires 22 Acre Parcel In Murrysville

The Westmoreland Land Trust recently acquired a piece of property in Murrysville that, for the first time, will allow nature enthusiasts to move unrestricted on foot or bike between Duff and Pleasant Valley parks.

* 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

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission published notice of its final rule changes relating to water withdrawals for Marcellus Shale development and formal notice of actions taken at its December Commission meeting.

* 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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