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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, Feb. 9, 2015
* Motion Denied: Court Reconsideration Of Ruling On Transfer Of Oil & Gas Fund Monies

Commonwealth Court Tuesday denied an application by the PA Environmental Defense Foundation to reconsider its January 7 ruling upholding the state’s ability to shift funds out of DCNR’s Oil and Gas Fund to balance the state budget.

* PUC: Act 13 Drilling Impact Fees Will Increase For Calendar 2014

The Act 13 drilling impact fees will increase for calendar year 2014 as a result of an increase in the average annual cost of natural gas, according to a notice published in the February 7 PA Bulletin by the Public Utility Commission.  The revised fee schedule will be--

* Feb. 17 Citizens Advisory Council Meeting Features Underground Mining Impact Report

The February 17 DEP Citizens Advisory Council meeting agenda will feature presentations on the 2008-2013 Act 54 Underground Mining Impact Report by the University of Pittsburgh, the author of the report, and DEP.

* Registration Is Now Open For The 2015 Great American Cleanup Of PA

Keep PA Beautiful Tuesday announced registration is now open for the 2015 Great American Cleanup of PA which runs from Marcy 1 to May 31.

* 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.

* Governor's Schedule

Friday Gov. Wolf posted his work calendar from January 21, 2015 through February 6, 2015, online. Going forward, Gov. Wolf's work calendar will be posted each Friday and his public schedule for the day will be posted each morning.

* 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-- 

* Rep. DiGirolamo Unveils Severance Tax Proposal, Only 10% For The Environment

In seeking to raise necessary funds for some of the Commonwealth's top priorities without passing the burden onto working families, Rep. Gene DiGirolamo (R-Bucks) Wednesday held a press conference to discuss legislation to impose a drilling tax within the Marcellus Shale and distribute those proceeds to statewide initiatives.

* Senate Democrats Propose 8% Severance Tax, Only 10% For Environment

Senators Art Haywood (D-Montgomery) and Vincent J. Hughes (D-Philadelphia) Thursday announced legislation to impose an 8 percent tax on Marcellus Shale gas along with the 1.9 percent impact fee.

* CBF-PA: 1 In 4 Pennsylvania Rivers Significantly Damaged By Pollution

The Winter issue of the Bay Bound quarterly newsletter from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA is now available featuring articles on--

* 690 Days To Meet PA 2017 Stream Cleanup Milestone

Pennsylvania has 690 days to put the best management practices on the ground needed to eliminate 10 million pounds of nitrogen and 212 million pounds of sediment from going into our rivers and streams to meet the 2017 Chesapeake Bay cleanup milestones.

* DEP Sets 4 Webinars On March 10, 11 On New Act 162 Stream Buffer Requirements

The Department of Environmental Protection has scheduled a series of four webinars on the implementation of new stream buffer requirements as a result of Act 162—

* Keystone Clean Water Team Receives National Designation

The Keystone Clean Water Team, a Pennsylvania non-profit organization dedicated to improving the health, safety, and welfare of our community and the environment based in Carbon County, recently received national recognition from the Nebraska-based Groundwater Foundation, which designated the organization as a Groundwater Guardian Community.

* PG: Pennsylvania Removes More Dams Than Any Other State In 2014

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Sunday Pennsylvania removed more dams in 2014 than any other state marking the 12th year in a row in the number one position.

* Norristown Water Treatment Plant Receives Partnership For Safe Water Award

The Norristown Water Treatment Plant in Montgomery County recently received the “Presidents Award” from the Partnership for Safe Water, a voluntary effort to provide safe drinking water.  The plant provides drinking water service to approximately 93,000 people.

* PA American Water Seeks Creative Kids For Protect Our Watersheds Art Contest

Pennsylvania American Water announced Wednesday entries are now being accepted for its 13th Annual Protect Our Watersheds Student Art Contest.  The deadline for submissions is April 10.

* February Chesapeake Currents From Chesapeake Bay Program Now Available

The February issue of the Chesapeake Currents newsletter is now available from EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program featuring articles on--

* Penn State Extension Green Infrastructure Webinars Feb. 10, 25

Learn how Green Infrastructure, such as open space, forests, parks, street trees, rain gardens, green roofs, permeable pavers, and rain barrels are helping to conserve viable natural resources and capture, infiltrate and evapo-transpire rain where it falls in two upcoming webinars by Penn State Extension.

* Profile: St. Francis University Center For Watershed Research And Service

The Center for Watershed Research and Service at St. Francis University in Loretto, Cambria County was founded in 2011 with support from the Foundation of Pennsylvania Watersheds through the 2011 GenOn Energy Inc. settlement agreement.

* Feb. 2 Watershed Winds Newsletter Now Available From Penn State Extension

The February 2 issue of the Watershed Winds newsletter is now available from Penn State Extension featuring articles on--

* Coal Refuse Pile Fire Extinguished In Lackawanna County

A coal refuse pile fire that began as burning garbage in a park in the Lackawanna County community of Archbald has been extinguished.

* Acting DEP Secretary Tours DEP Lab, Meets With Staff

DEP Acting Secretary John Quigley toured the department’s nationally accredited Bureau of Laboratories in Harrisburg on January 28 and talked with staff about their analytical work that supports Pennsylvania’s environmental programs.

* DEP Hearing Feb. 17 On Operating Permit For Sunoco Pump Station In Lebanon County

The Department of Environmental Protection will hold a public hearing on February 17, to accept comments on an operating permit for a natural gas liquids pump station in West Cornwall Township, Lebanon County.

* Range Resources Withdraws 3 Well Pad Permits In Washington County

Range Resources Tuesday withdrew three conditional use permit applications for unconventional well pads in Mt. Pleasant Township, Washington County, the morning before another hearing was scheduled to consider the applications.

* UGI Open Houses Feb. 24, 25 On Proposed Sunbury Pipeline

UGI Energy Services will hold two public meetings this month on a proposed 20-inch, 35-mile Sunbury natural gas pipeline.

* PECO Submits Plan To PUC To Modernize Natural Gas Distribution System

PECO has filed a request with the Public Utility Commission for approval to accelerate the modernization of the company’s natural gas distribution system. PECO’s plan would increase the company’s Long-Term Infrastructure Improvement Plan from $34 million per year to $61 million per year.

* DEP Denies Phase I Siting Application For Bucks County Hazardous Waste Facility

The Department of Environmental Protection Wednesday announced it has denied Elcon Recycling Services’ Phase I siting application for its proposed liquid hazardous waste treatment facility for a site in the Keystone Industrial Port Complex (KIPC) in Falls Township, Bucks County.

* Feb. 5 DEP News Now Available From Department Of Environmental Protection

The February 5 issue of DEP News is now available from the Department of Environmental Protection featuring articles on--

* Registration Now Open For PA Environmental Educators Conference March 12-15

The PA Association of Environmental Educators are now accepting registrations for its 2015 annual conference to be held March 12-15 at the Lake Raystown Resource Conference Center in Huntingdon County.

* Pittsburgh’s Parks Conservancy Director Hecht Named Carnegie Science Award Winner

Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy Director of Education Marijke Hecht has been named as the recipient of the 2015 Carnegie Science Center Award in the Leadership in STEM Education.

* DCNR Invites Students To Apply For Summer Environmental Careers Camp

Young Pennsylvanians interested in pursuing environmental careers are invited to apply by April 15 for the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources' summer residential camp, DCNR Acting Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said Thursday.

* PA Resources Council Announces Winners Of 2014 Lens On Litter Photo Contest

The PA Resources Council Tuesday announced the winners of its 2014 Lens On Litter Photo Contest.

* Apply Now For Coca-Cola, Keep American Beautiful Recycling Bin Grant Program

Coca-Cola is again partnering with Keep America Beautiful on the 2015 Recycling Bin Grant Program to support local community recycling programs by providing recycling bins to selected grant recipients.  The deadline for applications is February 27.

* February ePRC Newsletter Now Available From PA Resources Council

The February issue of the ePRC newsletter is now available from the PA Resources Council featuring articles on--

* Weis Markets’ Selinsgrove Store Reduces Refrigerant Use By 60 Percent

Weis Markets Thursday announced its new Selinsgrove store has received  a Gold level, GreenChill certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for reducing in-store refrigerant usage by more than 60 percent.

* DCNR Improves State Park Online Reservation System

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Acting Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn Wednesday announced the department is upgrading its online system for Pennsylvania state park campsite, cabin and pavilion reservations.

* 234-Acre Gibraltar Hill Protected Forever In Berks County

Driving north on Interstate 176 in Robeson Township, Berks County, Gibraltar Hill rests on the horizon like a sleeping giant. Just a short time ago, the fate of this local landmark was grim; an approved subdivision plan would have cleared the dense woodlands and forever altered the skyline.

* Birding In The Brodhead Watershed At ForEvergreen Nature Preserve Feb. 21

On February 21 from 9 – 11 a.m. Darryl and Jackie Speicher of the Pocono Avian Research Center will lead a Bird walk on the grounds of ForEvergreen Nature Preserve in Analomink, Monroe County.

* Tests Find Asian Carp eDNA In Sections Of Ohio River, Clean Your Gear

The Fish and Boat Commission said Friday it has confirmed that environmental DNA (eDNA) from the invasive Asian Silver Carp and Bighead Carp has been found in six water samples collected from the Ohio River last year.

* PA Butterfly Farm Would Close If Monarch Listed As Endangered Species

NFIB-Pennsylvania distributed this article about a recent proposal by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to review the status of the Monarch butterfly for possible protection under the federal Endangered Species Act.

* Help Wanted: PA Resources Council Pittsburgh Recycling Outreach Interns

The PA Resources Council is seeking students to fill two Recycling Outreach positions in Pittsburgh from June 1 to August 23.  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

The Public Utility Commission published notice in the February 7 PA Bulletin of the Act 13 drilling impact fee rates for 2014.

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