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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, Jan. 19, 2015
(1/19/2015)
* Gov.-Elect Wolf Names John Quigley For DEP, Cindy Dunn For DCNR

Gov.-Elect Tom Wolf Wednesday announced his appointment of John Quigley as Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection and Cindy Dunn as Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary.

* Gov.-Elect Wolf Names Russell Redding Secretary Of Agriculture

Gov.-Elect Tom Wolf Tuesday announced his appointment of Russell Redding as Secretary of the Department of Agriculture.

* Groups Offer Reaction To Wolf’s DEP, DCNR, Agriculture Appointments

Several groups commented on Gov.-Elect Wolf’s appointment of new Secretaries for DEP, DCNR and Agriculture, including: PA Environmental Council, Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA, PA Growing Greener Coalition, PA Chapter The Nature Conservancy, PA Land Trust Association, Environmental Defense Fund and PennFuture.  Here are their comments--

* Updated: Gov.-Elect Wolf’s Cabinet, Senior Appointments ScoreCard So Far

Gov.-Elect Wolf made 20 appointments this week to cabinet and senior positions and has two more to go including appointments for the departments of Education and Labor & Industry.

* Jan. 20 Is Inauguration Day: What Tom Wolf Said He Would Do On Environmental Issues

With the inauguration of Tom Wolf as Pennsylvania’s 47th Governor on January 20, it’s a good time to look back at what he promised to do environmental issues during the campaign.

* Analysis: Pennsylvania Isn’t Cleaning Up Our Streams, Reclaiming Our Abandoned Mines Quickly Enough To Meet Our Obligations

Pennsylvania has 19,761 miles of streams polluted by abandoned mine drainage, agricultural and stormwater runoff and over 37,761 acres of lakes that do not meet water quality standards, according to DEP’s latest water quality assessment report.

* 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/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--

* Senate Environmental Committee Meets Jan. 21 On Oil Council, Leaseholder Bills

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee is scheduled to meet on January 21 to consider legislation creating a PA Grade Crude Development Advisory Council and two bills protecting natural gas royalty interest owner rights.  The bills include--

* Joint Conservation Committee Sets Feb. 2, March 2 Environmental Issues Forums

The Joint Legislative Air And Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee will hold their first two Environmental Issues Forums on February 2 and March 2 in Room 8E-A East Wing starting at noon.

* Gov.-Elect Wolf’s Budget Task Force Finds $2.3 Billion State Deficit

Gov.-Elect Tom Wolf's Transition Budget Deficit and Fiscal Stabilization Task Force Friday released the key findings from their review of the depth of Pennsylvania's budget deficit.

* Conewango Creek Named Pennsylvania’s 2015 River of the Year

Rich in aquatic life and home to at least two rare fish species, the Conewango Creek in northwestern Pennsylvania has been voted the 2015 Pennsylvania River of the Year.

* Corbett: $23.2M in Grants To Protect, Improve Watersheds, Recounts Accomplishments

Gov. Tom Corbett Tuesday announced the Department of Environmental Protection will invest more than $23.2 million in 109 watershed protection projects to improve watersheds, reduce stormwater runoff and acid mine drainage and support educational programs, among other environmental efforts.

* CFA To Begin Accepting Next Round Of Water-Related Project Grants March 1

The Commonwealth Financing Authority has scheduled the application period for the next round of grants under the watershed restoration, abandoned mine drainage abatement, baseline water quality data, orphan or abandoned well plugging, sewage facilities and flood mitigation programs funded by the Act 13 Marcellus Legacy Fund.

* Chesapeake Bay States Benefit From USDA Regional Conservation Partnership Grants

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service announced $18 million in support for several projects in Pennsylvania that will benefit water quality in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program.  The projects include--

* DEP Chesapeake Bay Management Team To Meet Jan. 29

DEP’s Chesapeake Bay Management Team will meet on January 29 to review the progress Pennsylvania has made in meeting its Chesapeake Bay cleanup milestones.

* USDA Announces Projects To Improve Delaware River Watershed

USDA Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment Ann Mills Thursday announced projects in Pennsylvania will receive over $14.5 million to improve water quality in the Delaware River Watershed as part of the new Regional Conservation Partnership Program.

* Corbett: $53.4 Million Invested In Water Infrastructure Projects In 6 Counties

Gov. Tom Corbett Thursday announced the investment of $53.4 million in nine non-point source, drinking water and wastewater projects across six counties through the PA Infrastructure Investment Authority.

* Susquehanna U. Seeks Proposals For Collaborative Aquatic Research Projects

The Freshwater Research Initiative at Susquehanna University is now soliciting proposals for collaborative aquatic research projects through a grant the University received from the R.K. Mellon Foundation.  The deadline for proposals is February 13.

* 3rd Annual Girty’s Run Watershed Citizen Summit In Allegheny County Held Jan. 15

Allegheny Cleanways, Rick Duncan, EarthRise-GIS, LLC, and John Stephen, Living Waters of Pittsburgh, are convened the Third Annual Girty’s Run Watershed Citizen’s Summit on January 15 on projects and strategies for the improvement of Girty’s Run.

* Berks County Conservation District Seedling Sale April 17

Everyone is welcome to join the Berks County Conservation District’s at our annual Tree Seedling Sale on April 17 from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Berks County Agricultural Center (1238 County Welfare Road Leesport, please follow the signs on County Welfare Road. We now have one day pick-up with extended hours.

* Feb. 25 Meeting, Hearing On Proposed Wellsboro Johnston Airport Project

The Department of Environmental Protection Thursday announced it will hold a public meeting and hearing on February 25 to discuss an NPDES permit application and site-specific approval submitted by Clean Earth Inc. for the proposed Wellsboro Johnston Airport expansion project in Tioga County.

* ShopRite, The Fresh Grocer Newest 2015 Great American Cleanup Of PA Sponsors

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Thursday announced ShopRite and The Fresh Grocer, both of the Wakefern Food Corp. family of brands, are the newest sponsors of the 2015 Great American Cleanup of PA, their annual signature event.

* DEP Announces Award Of 120 Recycling Implementation Grants

The Department of Environmental Protection announced the award of recycling implementation grants to 120 municipalities across the state via a notice in the January 17 PA Bulletin, page 372.

* PA Envirothon Receives $10K EITC Donation From Weis Markets

Pennsylvania Envirothon recently received a generous contribution from Weis Markets through the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program. 

* PA American Water Kicks Off 2015 Stream Of Learning Scholarship Program

Pennsylvania American Water Wednesday announced applications are being accepted for its 2015 Stream of Learning Scholarship Program to provide financial assistance to high school seniors who are planning to pursue careers in the water and wastewater industry.

* Dickinson, Penn, Carnegie Mellon Named To 50 Greenest Colleges List

OnlineSchoolsCenter.com Monday released its list of the Top 50 Green Schools recognizing colleges and universities that go above and beyond for their students, the environment, the community, and the school as a whole to provide an environmentally-conscious, 'green' campus life.

* Philadelphia Launches Online Energy Benchmarking Visualization Tool

The Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of Sustainability has worked with local geospatial analysis firm Azavea to create a visual mapping tool for the results from the second year of Philadelphia’s energy benchmarking program for large commercial buildings. The result is a new user friendly web-based visualization platform.

* DEP: $1.75 M Range Resources Settlement To Fund Mine Reclamation Project

The Department of Environmental Resources Friday announced it has entered into a $1.75 million dollar settlement agreement with Range Resources for failure to keep proper water withdrawal records and for exceeding the amount of water withdrawn under an approved DEP Water Management Plan.

* DEP Publishes Final Enforcement Guidance For Oil And Gas Operations

DEP published notice of final technical guidance relating to Standards and Guidelines for Identifying, Tracking and Resolving Oil and Gas Violations in the January 17 PA Bulletin.  A comment/response document was also posted Friday.

* Final GP-5 Air Quality General Permit For Gas Compressors Published By DEP

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the January 17 PA Bulletin of the final modifications to the Air Quality General Plan Approval for Natural Gas Compression and Processing Facilities (BAQ-GPA/GP-5) which included--

* DEP Study: Little Potential For Radiation Exposure From Oil And Gas Development

The Department of Environmental Protection Thursday announced the results of its TENORM Study which analyzed the naturally occurring levels of radioactivity associated with oil and natural gas development in Pennsylvania.

* DEP Approves Air Quality Plan For Modifications At Milford Compressor Station

The Department of Environmental Protection Thursday announced it has issued an Air Quality Plan Approval to Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC to modify their existing natural gas compressor station in Milford, Pike County.

* Agriculture, Energy Industries Collaborate On PA Pipeline Development

The Keystone Energy Forum, in partnership with PennAg Industries Association & the Professional Dairy Managers of Pennsylvania held its fourth annual “Agricultural Forum” Thursday focusing on pipeline development and its interaction with Pennsylvania's agricultural community.

* Corbett Awards $7.3 Million In Grants For Natural Gas Vehicle Conversion

Gov. Tom Corbett Wednesday awarded $7.3 million in Act 13 funding to 18 companies, organizations and partnerships making the switch to natural gas for their heavy-duty fleet vehicles.

* PennDOT: 4 Teams Invited To Submit Proposals For Public-Private CNG Fueling Project

PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch Friday announced four teams will be invited to submit proposals for a program to develop clean-burning compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations at public transit agencies around the state that would also be available for use by the public.

* CFA Awards $9.6 Million To Support Clean, Alternative Energy Projects

The Department of Community and Economic Development Wednesday announced the Commonwealth Financing Authority has award more than $7.8 million in grants and $1.8 million in loans to support clean and alternative energy projects.

* Next Round Of CFA Clean Energy, Energy Efficiency Grant Applications Due Feb. 11

The Commonwealth Financing Authority has scheduled the application period for the next round of grants under the CFA’s clean energy, energy efficiency programs. Those programs include--

* PA Statewide Sustainable Energy Board Celebrates 15th Anniversary

The Pennsylvania Sustainable Energy Board, in conjunction with the Public Utility Commission, Thursday celebrated its 15th Anniversary during the annual meeting in Hearing Room 1 of the Commonwealth Keystone Building, Harrisburg.

* PUC To Review Philadelphia Gas Works Safety And Infrastructure

The Public Utility Commission Monday initiated an in-depth analysis into pipeline safety and replacement at Philadelphia Gas Works. The analysis is a follow-up to issues discussed at the Nov. 14, 2014, en banc hearing on PGW related to safety and aging infrastructure.

* PUC To Hold Cybersecurity Tabletop Exercise April 28

The Public Utility Commission will host a cybersecurity tabletop exercise from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 28. The purpose of this free exercise is for industry and government agencies to address preparations for a cyber or physical attack on their networks and infrastructure. (formal notice)

* PA Environmental Council, PennFuture Comment On Obama Methane Proposal

The PA Environmental Council and PennFuture both commented on President Obama proposed methane emission reduction proposal announced this week.

* NASA Awards $30M Grant To Penn State To Help Answer Climate Questions

Penn State will lead a five-year, $30 million mission to improve quantification of present-day carbon-related greenhouse gas sources and sinks. An improved understanding of these gases will advance our ability to predict and manage future climate change.

* iConservePA.org: 30-Second Video On Radon Could Save Your Life

The January issue of the Seeds newsletter from iConservePA.org urges you to watch a 30-second video than can reduce your risk from the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States-- radon.

* PA Parks & Forests Foundation Announces 2015 Award Winners

The PA Parks and Forests Foundation Friday announced the winners of the 2015 awards to recognize exemplary work in state parks and forests by staff and volunteers.  The winners are—

* DCNR Community Conservation Partnership Grant Applications Due April 16

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources next round of Community Conservation Partnership Grant applications are due April 16.  (formal notice)

* CFA To Begin Accepting Next Round Of Greenways, Trails, Recreation Grants March 1

The Commonwealth Financing Authority has scheduled the application period for the next round of grants under the greenways, trails and recreation programs funded by the Act 13 Marcellus Legacy Fund.

* Special 2014 Accomplishments Edition, Jan. 14 Resource Newsletter From DCNR

The January 14 edition of the Resource newsletter is now available from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources featuring special articles on accomplishments during 2014 divided in the major goals of the agency--

* PA Sea Grant Aquatic Invasive Species Training Jan. 22, 28 In Harrisburg, Erie

The Pennsylvania Sea Grant Program has scheduled two training sessions on aquatic invasive species and biosecurity on January 22 in Harrisburg and January 28 in Erie.

* Bald Eagle Nest Live Video Now Available From Game Commission

After a successful pilot run in 2014, the Game Commission Wednesday launched its new live stream from a bald-eagle nest, hopefully just in time for viewers to see the laying of the nesting pair's first egg.

* Gov. Corbett Appoints John T. Hines To DEP Citizens Advisory Council

Gov. Tom Corbett has appointed John T. Hines to DEP’s Citizens Advisory Council.  Hines currently serves as a Government Relations Advisor to the Shell Oil Company and held a variety of positions with the Department of Environmental Protection over 18 years.

* Help Wanted: Urban Resource Specialist, Part-Time Volunteer Program Coordinator

Nature Abounds, a national environmental nonprofit, has an opening for a part-time Volunteer Program Coordinator, at their headquarters in DuBois. 

* Opportunity To Bid On DCNR State Forest Project In Clearfield County

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources published notice of an opportunity to bid on a project in Moshannon State Forest in Clearfield County.

* 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 - January 17, 2015

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* 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.

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