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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, Feb. 16, 2015
* Wolf Unveils Natural Gas Severance Tax Proposal, Nothing For The Environment

Gov. Tom Wolf Wednesday proposed an education reinvestment plan featuring a severance tax on natural gas extraction as part of his solution to properly fund public education in the Commonwealth.

* CBF-PA: Severance Tax Proposal Should Include Funding Water Quality Cleanup

Chesapeake Bay Foundation Pennsylvania Executive Director Harry Campbell issued this statement Wednesday following Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposal for a natural gas severance tax to be used exclusively for education:

* Growing Greener Coalition Renews Case For Environmental Funding In Severance Tax

The PA Growing Greener Coalition Friday reiterated its case for why environmental funding must be contained in any severance tax package passed by the Commonwealth. Andrew Heath, executive director for the Coalition, issued the following statement:

* PennFuture Lauds Wolf’s Severance Tax Proposal Even Without Money For Environment

PennFuture Wednesday offered strong support for Gov. Tom Wolf's proposal to enact a 5 percent severance tax on natural gas drilling activity in Pennsylvania.

* Industry Reaction To Wolf’s Severance Tax Proposal

Marcellus Shale Coalition president David Spigelmyer issued the following statement on Gov. Wolf’s new energy tax proposal unveiled Wednesday in Thorndale, Pennsylvania:

* Senate, House Reaction To Wolf’s Severance Tax Proposal

Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming), Majority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, issued this statement on the new severance tax proposal—

* Analysis: Where Is The Environmental Funding In Gov. Wolf’s Severance Tax Proposal?

Gov. Wolf this week proposed a new severance tax on natural gas production with no mention yet of funding for environmental restoration programs.

* 3 Other Severance Tax Proposals Provide Funding For Environmental Restoration

Three other natural gas severance tax proposals announced in recent weeks by both Republicans and Democrats included funding environmental restoration programs, like Growing Greener, making the omission of environmental funding from Gov. Wolf’s proposal Wednesday all the more glaring.

* PA Environment Digest Google+ Circle, Blogs, Twitter Feeds

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

Gov. Tom Wolf's work calendar will be posted each Friday and his public schedule for the day will be posted each morning.   Click Here to view Gov. Wolf’s Weekly Calendar and Public Appearances.

* Senate House Agenda/Session Schedule (Updated)/Bill 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/House Bills Moving

The following bills of interest saw action this week in the House and Senate--

* House Consumer Affairs Committee Hears PUC Priorities

The House Consumer Affairs Committee held an informational meeting Tuesday on the legislative and other priorities of the Public Utility Commission this session.

* PA Trout Unlimited Presentation To Joint Conservation Committee March 2

Brian Wagner, President of the PA Council of Trout Unlimited, will be the featured presenter at the March 2 Environmental Issues Forum hosted by the Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee in Harrisburg.

* Coldwater Heritage Partnership Announces 2015 Grant Awards

The Coldwater Heritage Partnership Tuesday announced over $58,000 in grants have been awarded to local organizations to protect and conserve Pennsylvania’s coldwater streams.

* EPA, DEP Proposed Agreement To Resolve Some Harrisburg Clean Water Act Violations

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Harrisburg Wednesday announced a proposed partial settlement with co-plaintiff Department of Environmental Protection and the City of Harrisburg and Capital Region Water to resolve alleged Clean Water Act violations involving sewer overflows and discharges of polluted stormwater to the Susquehanna River and Paxton Creek. The agreement will help protect people’s health, the two impacted waterways, and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay.

* CBF-PA: Venango County Commissioners Adopt Clean Water Counts! Resolution

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA Tuesday applauded the Venango County Commissioners for adopting a Clean Water Counts! resolution, calling on state officials to make clean water a top priority for the Keystone State.  

* Interactive Website Highlights Pioneering Approach To Watershed Restoration

Franklin & Marshall College and multiple partners who collaborated to develop and test a new approach to a wetland ecosystem restoration at Big Spring Run (BSR) in Lancaster County are pleased to announce the launch of the BSR Project website.

* PA Must Meet 2017 Stream Cleanup Milestone In 683 Days

Pennsylvania has 683 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 Invites Comments On Proposed TMDL For Watershed In Armstrong, Indiana

The Department of Environmental Protection published a notice inviting comments on a proposed TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) watershed plan for Crooked Creek Watershed in Armstrong and Indiana counties (PA Bulletin, page 830).  A copy of the TMDL is available on DEP’s TMDL webpage.

* Susquehanna River Basin Commission Meets March 5 On Budget, Projects

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission is scheduled to meet on March 5 at the Hershey Lodge, 325 University Drive, Hershey, starting at 9:00 a.m.

* Creek In Crisis Meeting To Address Problems In Wissahickon Watershed May 13

A panel of regional experts will address the many issues relating to the Wissahickon watershed in Montgomery and Philadelphia counties on May 13, and will offer tangible ways for community members to engage in protecting the 64-square mile area.

* Brodhead Watershed Association Seeks Volunteers To Help Monitor Stream Quality

The Brodhead Watershed Association in Monroe County is looking for volunteers to help protect the pristine waters in the Poconos by becoming trained Streamwatchers.

* Preventing Driveway, Lane Washouts Workshop March 10, 12 In Westmoreland

Melting snow, heavy spring rains and flooding can wash out unpaved driveways, farm lanes, and access roads.

* Make Your Yard A Sustainable Landscape Workshop March 8 In Delaware County

The Chester-Ridley-Crum Watersheds Association, Penn State University-Brandywine, and CRC’s municipal stormwater partnership will hold a lecture on March 8 at Penn State-Brandywine in Media, Delaware County.

* Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition Feb. Catalyst Newsletter Now Available

The Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition’s February Catalyst newsletter is now available featuring articles on watershed protection in Butler and surrounding counties--

* Celebrate Earth Day At ClearWater Conservancy’s Watershed Cleanup April 25

On April 25th from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at sites throughout Centre County, ClearWater Conservancy will host its annual Watershed Cleanup Day.

* Keep PA Beautiful Recognizes Outstanding Volunteers For 2014

Each year, Keep PA Beautiful awards the President’s Award to a volunteer who has demonstrated a sustained commitment and exceptional contributions on behalf of Keep PA Beautiful to make our communities clean and beautiful.  In 2014, Dale Frazier from Bucks County was recognized for the distinction.

* Delaware Estuary, Chesapeake Bay Groups Join Great American Cleanup Of PA

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Wednesday announced they are teaming-up with the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary and the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay/Project Stream Clean for the 2015 Great American Cleanup of PA.

* DEP Now Accepting Applications For Recycling Performance Grants

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice it is now accepting applications for 2014 Recycling Performance Grants in the February 14 PA Bulletin.  The deadline for applications is September 30. 

* Bucks, Montgomery Hazardous Waste Sites Proposed For Removal From Priority List

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice it is proposing to remove two sites from the state Hazardous Site Cleanup Priority List in Bucks and Montgomery counties and is inviting public comments on the actions.

* FirstEnergy Projects Support Western Pennsylvania Shale Gas Boom

FirstEnergy Corp. is investing nearly $35 million in new electric transmission projects to support the Marcellus Shale gas industry in western Pennsylvania. The new transmission facilities also will help enhance service reliability for West Penn Power customers.

* PUC, Gov. Wolf Urge Consumers To Prepare For Cold Weather

With frigid temperatures and extreme wind chills forecasted for much of the state in the upcoming days, the Public Utility Commission Thursday reminded consumers to prepare for the cold weather by reviewing conservation and safe heating tips.

* PennTAP Strategic Energy Management Showcase April 7 In State College

The PA Technical Assistance Program will hold a Strategic Energy Management Showcase on April at the Penn Stater Conference Center in State College from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

* Nuclear Energy Institute Briefing: Power Market Flaws Must Be Corrected

Recognition of the electricity market flaws that are putting even high-performing nuclear energy facilities at risk has grown quickly among those with the authority to fix the problem and initial market reforms are taking shape.

* DEP Launches Mine Subsidence Insurance Campaign In Allegheny County

The Department of Environmental Protection’s Mine Subsidence Insurance Program Tuesday announced it is sending out notices to about 2,000 property owners in Pleasant Hills Borough, Allegheny County, to alert them of abandoned coal mines beneath their property, increasing their risk of damage from mine subsidence.

* EPA Awards Clean Diesel School Bus Grants In 30 States, PA Gets One

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Tuesday announced the award of more than $3 million in rebates to replace 210 older diesel school buses with new buses that are more than 90 percent cleaner, reducing pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter that are linked to health problems including asthma and lung damage.

* 87 Employers Sign Up In Sustainable Pittsburgh Green Workplace Challenge

Sustainable Pittsburgh Wednesday announced 87 employers signed up to compete in the 2014-2015 Green Workplace Challenge. They represent a mix of businesses, nonprofits, local governments, universities, and K-12 schools comprising thousands of employees across southwestern Pennsylvania.

* Pennsylvania Adds 18 Farms, Nearly 1,500 Acres To Preservation Program

Pennsylvania’s Agricultural Land Preservation Board Thursday safeguarded 1,495 additional acres on 18 farms in 10 counties through the state’s nation-leading farmland preservation program.

* Heritage Rail Trail In York County Is PA’s 2015 Trail Of The Year

Gov. Tom Wolf Wednesday announced the Heritage Rail Trail in York County is the 2015 Trail of the Year in Pennsylvania.

* February PA Wilds E-Update Now Available

The February issue of PA Wilds E-Update is now available from the Pennsylvania Wilds Resource Center featuring articles on--

* Feb. 11 DCNR Resource Newsletter Now Available

The February 11 issue of the Resource newsletter is now available from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources featuring articles on--

* Lacawac Sanctuary Summer Student Program Schedule

The Lacawac Sanctuary in Lackawanna County announced their upcoming student residential camp and other summer programs, including--

* Will Abbo, Kit, America, Hawk Eye Return To Hawk Mountain?

Four broad-winged hawks tagged by scientists at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Berks County have been tracked more than 4,000 miles to Central and South America, and one is currently moving about central Brazil.

* Monarchs On The Brink, Why Birds Count

The February edition of SEEDS, the newsletter from the environmental education website, features articles on--

* Pennsylvania iMapInvasives Interactive Website Now Available

A new invasive species reporting and data management tool is now available.  Called PA iMapInvasives, the site was developed through a partnership between The Nature Conservancy, NatureServe, the New York Natural Heritage Program and the Florida Natural Areas Inventory.

* Ken Reisinger Named Acting DEP Deputy For Waste, Air, Radiation, Remediation

Kenneth Reisinger has been named Acting Deputy for Waste, Air, Radiation and Remediation at the Department of Environmental Protection.

* Sarah Clark Named Director Of DEP Legislative Affairs Office

Acting DEP Secretary John Quigley Tuesday announced the appointment of Sarah Clark as Director of Legislative Affairs.

* Julie Lalo Named DEP Director Of Communications

Acting DEP Secretary John Quigley Wednesday announced the appointment of Julie Lalo as Director of Communications at the Department of Environmental Protection.

* Help Wanted: Allegheny Land Trust Chartiers Creek Watershed Intern

The Allegheny Land Trust is now accepting applications for its 2015 John Hamm Internship.  The intern will assist with stewardship, land management, volunteer recruitment, environmental education and restoration of the Chartiers Creek Watershed in Allegheny and Washington counties.  Applications are due by April 1. Click Here for all the details.

* Public Participation Opportunities/Calendar Of Events

This section lists House and Senate Committee meetings, DEP and other public hearings and meetings and other interesting environmental events.

* 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---

* Regulations, Technical Guidance & Permits

The Fish and Boat Commission published formal notice adding 10 streams to the Class A Wild Trout Streams List.

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* 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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