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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, April 27, 2015
* Senate Committee Sets Confirmation Hearings For DEP, DCNR Secretaries

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee is scheduled to hold confirmation hearings for Acting DCNR Secretary Cindy Dunn May 13 and for Acting DEP Secretary John Quigley on June 2.

* Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA: SB 724 Could Derail Clean Water Efforts In PA

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA says Senate Bill 724 (Vogel-R-Beaver) threatens to derail current clean water restoration efforts and divert critical funding from proven science-based practices, while favoring proprietary, corporate-backed and costly manure technologies.

* Analysis: Why Bion Is The Force Behind SB 724- It's Subsidiary Can’t Pay Back A $7.7M PennVEST Loan

Many people have asked why Bion Environmental Technologies, the company who wrote and is heavily promoting Senate Bill 724 (Vogel-R-Beaver) as a solution to reducing pollution to meet Pennsylvania’s commitments to the Chesapeake Bay cleanup, has been pushing so hard for the last three years to have the General Assembly pass Senate Bill 724. 

* Op-Ed: Budget Debate: Accelerate, Don’t Negotiate PA’s Clean Water Commitment

By Harry Campbell

* DEP May Explore Other Funding Options For Oil & Gas Program With Declining Permits

Scott Perry, DEP Deputy Secretary for Oil and Gas Management, told the DEP Citizens Advisory Council on Tuesday the agency may explore other funding options to support DEP’s oil and gas regulatory program since applications for new oil and gas permits have declined by about 30 percent so far this year.

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

PA Environment Digest now has a Google+ Circle called Green Works In PA.  Let us join your Circle.

* Senate/House Agenda/Session Schedule/Gov’s 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/House Bills Moving

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

* House Committee May 12 Hearing Set On Water Well Standards Bill

The House Consumer Affairs Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on House Bill 48 (Godshall-R-Montgomery) setting drinking water well construction standards (sponsor summary) on May 12.

* Senate Committees Hold June 1 Joint Hearing On Severance Tax Proposals

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy and Finance Committees are scheduled to hold a joint hearing on natural gas severance tax proposals on June 1.

* PA Environmental Professionals Honor Bernard McGurl, John Arway

The PA Association of Environmental Professionals Thursday announced the selection of Bernard McGurl, Lackawanna River Corridor Association, for the Walter Lyon Award and John Arway, Fish & Boat Commission, for the Karl Mason Award.

* Wolf Announces $130.7 Million In Water Infrastructure Projects In 8 Counties

Gov. Tom Wolf Wednesday announced the investment of $130.7 million for twelve non-point source, drinking water and wastewater projects across eight counties through the PA Infrastructure Investment Authority.

* PA American Water Marks Earth Day By Awarding Environmental Grants

Pennsylvania American Water announced Wednesday seven watershed initiatives across the state have earned financial support through the company’s 2015 Environmental Grant Program.

* SRBC Holds Hearing On Water Project Applications, Proposed Fee Changes April 30

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission will receive public comment at an April 30 hearing on project applications for several water withdrawal and consumptive water use applications; a request by Augusta Water, Inc. for waiver of application and transfer; and proposed fee changes.

* Capital Region Water Announces City Beautiful H2O Campaign, Contest

For Earth Day, Capital Region Water announced “City Beautiful H2O,” a historic campaign to improve the health of Harrisburg’s local waterways by reducing combined sewer overflows and reducing stormwater pollutants.

* Vote Now Pennsylvania In Save The Chesapeake Bay Photo Contest!

Vote now through May 1 for the winning photo in the 2015 Save the Chesapeake Bay Photo Contest.  Pennsylvania is the biggest part of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, lets make our voices heard!  Click Here to vote (PA photos at the bottom of the page).  Photo: Ricketts Glen State Park.

* Registration Now Open For 2015 Delaware River Sojourn June 20-27

The Delaware River Sojourn, this year to be held June 20-27, is one of the oldest river sojourns in the nation, combines the experiences of guided paddling excursions with interpretive programs, camping, and camaraderie. 

* Register Now For Lehigh River Sojourn June 26-29

The Wildlands Conservancy will hold its 2015 Lehigh River Sojourn June 26-29 offering participants a 28-mile guided paddling trip on the Lehigh River.

* Brodhead Watershed Assn. Native Plant Sale May 8-9 In Monroe County

This mother’s day, give a gift that Mother Nature can appreciate: purchase native plants at the Brodhead Creek Watershed Association’s Native Plant Sale. While there, shoppers can get expert clean-water gardening advice from BWA members as well as designs and plants for rain gardens, buffer strips and streambanks.

* DEP Awards 110 Grants For Environmental Education, Stewardship

The Department of Environmental Protection Thursday awarded $304,137 in environmental education grants to 110 schools, universities, non-profit organizations, and conservation districts across Pennsylvania.

* U.S. Dept. Of Education Recognizes PA Green Schools

The U.S. Department of Education Wednesday recognized two Pennsylvania schools as part of its Green Ribbon Schools Program— Charles F. Patton Middle School, Chester County, and Northampton Community College.

* EPA Lauds Bethlehem Area School District For Environmental Leadership

In celebration of Earth Week 2015, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin Thursday visited Spring Garden Elementary School in Bethlehem, PA, to praise Bethlehem Area School District administrators, faculty and students for taking action on cutting carbon pollution that fuels our changing climate.

* Air Emissions Up From Natural Gas Drilling Operations, Reporting Requirements Expand

The Department of Environmental Protection Monday released the 2013 air emissions inventory for the natural gas drilling industry that shows increases in several categories of contaminants.

* DEP OKs Air Quality Plan For Easton Compressor Station In Northampton

The Department of Environmental Protection Monday announced it will issue an Air Quality Plan Approval to Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC to modify their existing natural gas compressor station in Forks Township, Northampton County.

* Natural Gas Provides Truck Fleets With Clean Fuel Alternatives In PA

Penske Truck Leasing and Penske Logistics were among the companies that celebrated Earth Day 2015 Wednesday and sustainability advancements being made in the transportation sector.

* EPA Unveils Unique Park Bench In Philadelphia That Measures Air Quality

There’s a new way to check the air quality in Philadelphia. It comes in the form of an innovative park bench that the U.S Environmental Protection Agency has placed in Independence National Historical Park.

* DEP Re-Opens Clean Diesel Grant Program, Applications Due May 1

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice on April 24 it has re-opened the application period for $106,022 in funding under the Clean Diesel Program.  (formal notice)

* PUC Study: Potential For Solar, Combined Heat, Power Technologies Under Act 129

The Public Utility Commission Thursday released the Statewide Evaluator’s Distributed Generation Potential Study for Pennsylvania highlighting the potential role that distributed generation technologies such as solar and combined heat and power (CHP) can play in Pennsylvania electric distribution companies’ Act 129 Phase III Energy Efficiency and Conservation (EE&C) Plans.

* May 21 DEP Meeting On Changes To Power Plant Landfill In Greene County

The Department of Environmental Protection will hold a public meeting on an application to modify the Hatfield Ferry Power Station coal combustion byproduct landfill in Greene County on May 21.  (PA Bulletin page 2107)

* DEP Hearing On Cleanup Of Beaver County Hazardous Waste Site May 5

The Department of Environmental Protection  will host a public hearing at 5:00 p.m. on May 5 to outline a proposal for an interim response at the General Alloy Casting Company Site.

* Water Line Construction Begins To Provide Clean Water In Lackawanna County

The Department of Environmental Protection Tuesday announced the construction of an approximately $20 million public water distribution and supply system began this month to service residents in four Lackawanna County communities affected by groundwater contamination that impacted privately owned water wells.

* Centre County Recycling & Refuse Authority Wins National Recognition

The Centre County Recycling & Refuse Authority has been awarded Gold recognition by the State Electronics Challenge—a national environmental leadership program—for its accomplishments in green procurement, energy and paper conservation, and responsible recycling of electronic office equipment in 2014.  

* PA Resources Council Hosts 6 Household Chemical Collection Events In Western PA

Throughout the spring, summer and fall, the Pennsylvania Resources Council will hold collection events in Allegheny, Beaver, Cambria and Washington counties to so residents can properly dispose of household chemical products known as household hazardous waste. 

* Keep PA Beautiful Accepting Applications For Grants To Celebrate 25th Anniversary

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Tuesday announced it is now applications for 25 grants of up to $1,000 to be awarded to organizations in three focus areas of Prevent It, Clean It or Keep It for cleanup and beautification projects.

* KPB: PA Groups Receive $25,000 in KAB/Waste Management Think Green Grants

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Thursday announced Pennsylvania groups received $25,000 in grant awards from the national nonprofit Keep America Beautiful, Inc. as part of a nationwide effort sponsored by Waste Management that encourages local solutions that improve community environments.

* Sheetz Celebrates Earth Day April 22

Sheetz Tuesday announced its continued commitment to sustainability.  The company hosted an Earth Day Celebration at their Distribution Center located in Claysburg, Blair County, on April 22 to give employees an opportunity to learn about healthier lifestyle choices for both themselves and the environment.

* EPA Honors PA College Consortium For Food Recovery Challenge Achievement

The U.S Environmental Protection Agency Thursday honored the PA Environmental Resources Consortium for recruiting 22 Pennsylvania colleges and universities to participate in EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge and help reduce, donate, and recycle excess food from more than 100,000 students.

* Mechanicsburg Borough Promotes Recycling Through Awards Program

Mechanicsburg Borough, Cumberland County, recognized residents Michael and Terry Hoffman on April 17 with the Recycle Right Reward for their efforts to recycle their household waste.

* PUC Publishes Staff Report On Philadelphia Gas Pipeline Replacement Program

The Public Utility Commission Tuesday published a staff report that presents seven specific opportunities to accelerate the replacement schedule of Philadelphia Gas Works’ aging pipeline infrastructure.

* PUC Proposal To Provide More Natural Gas Supplier Information On Utility Bills

The Public Utility Commission Thursday issued a tentative proposal that would provide consumers with more information from their natural gas supplier on their utility bill. The recommended changes follow a regulation implemented last year for electric generation suppliers, requiring more EGS information on utility bills.

* PUC Seeks Comments On Changes To Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Regulations

The Public Utility Commission Thursday issued for comment revisions to a proposed rulemaking that would amend certain regulations of the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act of 2004 pertaining to net metering, interconnection and compliance provisions.

* New Applications For Authorized Capital Budget Projects Being Accepted May 4 To 18

For a two week period— May 4 to May 18— new applications for funding from the State Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) will be accepted by the Office of the Budget, according to Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson).

* DEP Study Reveals Lyme Disease Risk In All 67 Counties Of Pennsylvania

For the first time, blacklegged (deer) ticks have now been observed in all 67 counties of Pennsylvania, according to researchers at The Department of Environmental Protection.

* Pennsylvania Adds 32 Farms, More Than 2,500 Acres To Preservation Program

Pennsylvania’s Agricultural Land Preservation Board safeguarded 2,509 additional acres on 32 farms in 16 counties recently through the state’s nation-leading farmland preservation program.

* PennDOT, DCNR Partner To Service Maintenance Vehicles

Starting this month, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources vehicles at seven state parks and one state forest will be serviced at nearby PennDOT facilities through a new agreement expected to reduce DCNR staff time and travel costs.

* DCNR, Harrisburg Senators Baseball Teaming Up To Plant Trees

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Harrisburg Senators are teaming up to show the value of planting trees in special Arbor Day activities planned April 24, at the team’s Metro Bank Park in Harrisburg.

* April 22 Resource Newsletter Now Available From DCNR

The April 22 issue of the Resource newsletter is now available from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources featuring articles on--

* 2 Eggs Hatch In Harrisburg Peregrine Falcon Nest

Two of three eggs have hatched in the Peregrine Falcon nest on the Rachel Carson Building in Harrisburg.  Click Here to watch the nest and get the latest update.

* Opportunity To Bid On DEP Projects In Bradford, Cambria, Clarion, Elk Counties

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice of the opportunity to bid on a mine reclamation projects in Cambria County and Clarion County, plugging an abandoned gas well in Bradford County and an abandoned gas well in Elk County.

* Contractor Wanted: Alliance For Chesapeake Bay Social Marketing Campaign

The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay is soliciting sealed proposals to develop a community-based social marketing campaign to encourage watershed residents to adopt practices, such as rain gardens and BayScapes, that will reduce the negative impacts of stormwater runoff. For more details, please see the attached Request for Bids.  Closing date is May 1.  Click Here for details.

* Help Wanted: Penn State- York Master Watershed Steward Coordinator

Penn State University is seeking candidates to fill the York Master Watershed Steward Coordinator position to oversee the general function and activities of the Penn State Master Watershed Steward Volunteer Program in York County.  Closing date is May 15. Click Here for details.

* Corrected: Help Wanted: Head Resource Conservationist, Monroe County Conservation District

The Monroe County Conservation District is seeking candidates for Head Resource Conservationist to supervise the District’s Technical Section. 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.

* Environmental NewsClips - All Topics

Here are NewsClips from around the state on all environmental topics, including General Environment, Budget, Marcellus Shale, Watershed Protection and much more--

* Regulations, Technical Guidance & Permits

No new regulations were published this week.  Pennsylvania Bulletin - April 25, 2015

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