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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, March 23, 2015
(3/23/2015)
* Budget Hearing: DCNR Infrastructure Backlog Reduced By $400 Million In 2 Years

Acting DCNR Secretary Cindy Dunn told the House Appropriations Committee Monday the backlog of infrastructure projects in State Parks and Forests was now about $600 million thanks to a combination of funding sources including the Capital Budget, Enhance Penns Woods and others

* 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 DHess@CrisciAssociates.com, 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

Here are the Senate and House Calendars and Committee meetings showing bills of interest as well as a list of new environmental bills introduced--

* Sen. Yaw Pleased With Kane’s Answers On Post-Production Royalty Investigation

Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming), Majority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, Tuesday expressed optimism following comments made by Attorney General Kathleen Kane into her investigation of natural gas post-production cost deductions from royalties by Chesapeake Energy Corporation.

* DEP CAC: DEP To Have Lower Susquehanna Impairment Recommendation Late 2015

DEP’s Citizens Advisory Council was told Tuesday the agency plans to have a recommendation on whether the Lower Susquehanna River should be designated as impaired by the end of 2015.

* CBF: New EPA Report Examines State Oversight Of Agriculture Programs In PA

New reports from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency examine state programs overseeing animal agricultural facilities as well as actions undertaken by Virginia and Pennsylvania to reduce pollution from agriculture.

* DEP, Agriculture Respond To EPA Report On PA’s Animal Agriculture Programs

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s assessment of Pennsylvania’s animal agriculture program acknowledges the need for continued commitment from all the stakeholders involved in conserving Pennsylvania’s resources, said the leaders of two Commonwealth agencies Tuesday.

* EPA Chesapeake Bay Program Seeks Comments On Draft Management Strategies

Nine months after the signing of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement, the Chesapeake Bay Program partners are seeking public input on a collection of plans for achieving the goals and outcomes of the landmark accord.

* DEP Publishes 2 More Proposed Policies To Implement Act 162 Stream Buffer Law

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice March 21 of two proposed technical guidance documents implementing the Act 162 stream buffer requirements law--

* General Permit For Hydrostatic Testing Of Tanks, Pipelines Proposed By DEP

DEP published a notice of availability of a draft NPDES General Permit for Discharges from Hydrostatic Testing of Tanks and Pipelines (PAG-10).  Comments are due April 20.

* Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy Hosts Earth Week Events April 11, 25

The Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy invites the community to join in Earth Week events this April.  Registration is open for volunteers and sponsors to participate in the largest clean-up in the region – the Conservancy’s Stream Cleanup on April 11.

* CBF-PA: Cumberland, Dauphin County Students Explore Local Waterways

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA opens its 2015 Susquehanna Watershed Education Program on March 27 for local students, grades 6 through 12, for a day of watershed exploration.

* March 16 Watershed Winds Newsletter Now Available From Penn State Extension

The March 16 Watershed Winds newsletter is now available from Penn State Extension featuring articles on--

* Kiski Conemaugh Stream Team Issues Annual Report

The Kiski Conemaugh Stream Team, a project of the Conemaugh Valley Conservancy,  has issued their 2014 Annual Report of its activities.

* March Catalyst Newsletter Now Available From Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition

The March issue of The Catalyst newsletter is now available from the Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition in Butler County featuring articles on--

* Community Leaders Honored By Sewickley Creek Watershed Association

Sewickley Creek Watershed Association recognized several community leaders at its fundraiser banquet March 7th at Giannilli’s II Restaurant in Greensburg, Westmoreland County.  Over 170 guests attended the event.    

* Shippensburg Authority Latest To Join Partnership For Safe Water

The Shippensburg Borough Authority’s Gunter Valley Water Treatment Plant, located in Cumberland and Franklin counties, recently became the newest member of the Partnership for Safe Water Treatment Program, a voluntary effort to provide safe drinking water.

* Water System Conference, 20th Anniversary Of Safe Water Partnership Oct. 28-30

The PA Chapter of the American Water Works Association will hold its 2015 Water System Optimization Conference October 28-30 in Hershey.  This year’s Conference will also celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Partnership for Safe Water ProgramClick Here for all the details and to learn about sponsorship opportunities.   

* Insurance Dept. Urges Property Owners To Consider Flood Insurance

Acting Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller Wednesday reminded Pennsylvanians that spring flooding is common throughout the state, and urged property owners to consider purchasing flood insurance to protect their homes, businesses, and possessions. 

* Keep PA Beautiful Affiliates Announce Clean Up Events In 5 Counties

Local affiliates of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful are gearing up for 2015 spring clean up events in Bedford, Cambria, Huntingdon, Juniata and Mifflin counties.

* PA Resources Council Hosts Collection Events In Western PA

Mark your 2015 calendar now for dates to drop off a wide variety of materials – ranging from televisions and computers to household chemicals and usable building materials – at upcoming collections in Western Pennsylvania sponsored by the Pennsylvania Resources Council and its partners.

* DEP, Police Search For Testing Firm’s Missing Nuclear Gauge In Beaver County

The Department of Environmental Protection and Beaver County police Monday said they are searching for a missing portable gauge containing sealed sources of radioactive material that belongs to Solar Testing of Pennsylvania.

* Shell Meets All 15 Center For Sustainable Shale Development Performance Standards

The Center for Sustainable Shale Development in Pittsburgh, a collaborative of environmental organizations and energy companies that encourages responsible practices in development of shale gas resources in the Appalachian region, announced Wednesday it has certified Shell’s SWEPI LP Appalachian operations as having successfully completed the Center’s rigorous evaluation and verification process.

* DEP Receives Applications For Transcontinental Pipeline In Lancaster County

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice on March 21 it has received water obstruction and encroachment applications for expanding a natural gas pipeline in Drumore and Fulton Townships in Lancaster County to serve a natural gas power plant in Maryland (PA Bulletin, page 1418).

* Casey: More Protections Needed For Communities With Natural Gas Drilling

U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) Wednesday introduced the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals (FRAC) Act, which would increase environmental protections for communities where natural gas drilling takes place.

* Casey Pushes Bill To Provide New Resources, Training For Oil Train Responders

As crude train derailments continue to threaten Southeastern Pennsylvania and communities across the state, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) pushed for legislation that could provide new resources and training to first responders.

* PA Environmental Council Calls For Overhaul Of Act 54 Longwall Mining Law

On Tuesday, PA Environmental Council President and CEO Davitt Woodwell delivered the following comments to the DEP Citizens Advisory Council on the most recent five year report on the effects of underground coal mining

* PA Coal Alliance: Act 54 Longwall Mining Law Balances Extraction, Landowner Rights

John Pippy, PA Coal Alliance, provided the perspective of the coal industry at the hearing the DEP Citizens Advisory Council held Tuesday on the most recent five year report on the effects of underground coal mining by DEP.  Here are some excerpts from his written remarks--

* DEP Acts To Clean Up Contaminated Sludge At Indiana County Coal Refuse Site

The Department of Environmental Protection Wednesday said it is taking action to protect nearby residents and the water quality of a recovering river by removing untreated water and Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (TENORM) from a water pond on the site of the former Tunnelton Liquids Company (TLC) in Conemaugh Township, Indiana County. 

* Erie Landfill Cleanup Project Wins Engineering Award

A project spearheaded by the Department of Environmental Protection and Michael Baker International received the Diamond Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies at a reception held March 2 in Hershey.

* March 19 DEP News Now Available

The March 19 DEP News is now available from the Department of Environmental Protection featuring articles on--

* Strategy To Assist Municipalities In Evaluation Of LED Street Lighting

Staff from the Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Pollution Prevention and Energy Assistance are developing a technical assistance program to help municipalities in First Energy territories to evaluate and implement LED street lighting technology as a way to improve energy efficiency and reduce energy costs.

* Spring Into Energy Savings With PECO

Snow may be falling on the first day of spring, but warmer weather is right around the corner. The change in season is the perfect reminder to weatherize your home to ensure it is as energy efficient as possible, saving energy and money.

* Sustainable Pittsburgh: SW Sustainable Communities Invited To Host Cash Mob

Sustainable Pittsburgh Thursday announced a new opportunity that awards a community’s sustainability efforts through its Champions for Sustainability (C4S) business network.   The deadline to apply is April 10.

* Penn State: PA Natural Resources Leadership Institute Workshop June 11-12

Penn State University will hold a workshop on June 11-12 to establish the Pennsylvania Natural Resources Leadership Institute in State College.

* Regional Keystone Energy Education Program Workshop In West Chester April 7

The Department of Environmental Protection invites middle school teachers, administrators and building managers to a training workshop on April 7 in West Chester, Chester County, on the Keystone Energy Education Program (KEEP) to teach and track energy efficiency in school buildings and homes.

* ClearWater Conservancy To Host 2,164 Students At Millbrook Marsh Nature Center

ClearWater Conservancy awarded $16,632 in funding through its “Connections” program for 2,164 students from 16 area public and private schools to take part in field trips this spring to Millbrook Marsh Nature Center in State College, Centre County.

* Delaware Highlands Conservancy Vanessa Van Gorder Memorial College Scholarship

The Delaware Highlands Conservancy announces the establishment of a Memorial Scholarship in honor of Vanessa Joy Van Gorder, who tragically lost her life on December 26, 2014.

* Game Commission’s Seedlings For Schools Program Now Accepting Orders

The Game Commission again is helping students learn about the vital role trees play in the environment through its Seedlings for Schools Program.

* Wildlife For Everyone: Effort Underway To Preserve Somerset Lake Habitat

In an effort to preserve valuable natural habitats and a treasured community resource, the Wildlife For Everyone Endowment Foundation is proud to support the Somerset County Conservancy's effort to save Somerset Lake.

* DEP: Harrisburg Peregrine Falcons Produce Clutch Of Eggs

The pair of peregrine falcons that nest on a ledge of DEP's headquarters in Harrisburg have produced three eggs so far.  The first egg arrived March 14.  The female typically lays an egg every other day until the "clutch" is complete.

* Game Commission: For Eagle Cam Viewers, Egg Watch Has Begun

The Game Commission’s bald eagle cam already has attracted nearly 643,000 viewers, many of whom faithfully have followed the daily happenings at the nest near Codorus State Park in Hanover, York County.

* TNC-PA: Observe The Courtship Flight Of The American Woodcock April 8

The PA Chapter of The Nature Conservancy is offering a public walk at our Hauser Nature Center in Long, Pond, Monroe County to celebrate spring and view the spectacular and elaborate mating courtship ritual of the male American Woodcock on April 8 starting at 7:15 p.m.

* Salamander, Frog Walks With The Nature Conservancy Rescheduled For March 28

The Pennsylvania Chapter of The Nature Conservancy is rescheduling the public walks at The Forest Pools Preserve at Kings Gap Environmental Center in Cumberland County due to soil temperature conditions.

* Northeast Audubon Offers Summer Camp Scholarships

Are you interested in a week of summer camp with all expenses paid?  This year Northeast Pennsylvania Audubon Society is offering two summer camp scholarships for students.  Applications are due April 1.

* Hawk Mountain Hosts March 27 American Kestrel Webcam Teacher Workshop

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, Berks County, welcomes all area teachers to a one-time-only and free workshop on March 27 that teachers how to use the Sanctuary’s new American kestrel webcam in the classroom.

* Help Wanted: LandStudies Water Resources Engineer

LandStudies, a Lititz-based environmental consulting and restoration firm, is seeking candidates for a Water Resources Engineer II position.  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---

* Watershed/Flooding NewsClips

Here are NewsClips on watershed topics from around the state-- 

* Regulations, Technical Guidance & Permits

The Environmental Quality Board published notice of proposed changes to Chapter 215 relating to the Security Rule for Radioactive Material for comment.

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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

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