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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, May 4, 2015
(5/4/2015)
* Wolf Announces Winners Of 2015 Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards

Gov. Tom Wolf Tuesday announced 15 environmental projects from across the state will receive the 2015 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence.

* Keep PA Beautiful’s Great American Cleanup Of PA Receives Governor’s Award

The Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Great American Cleanup of PA has been selected to receive a 2015 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence.

* PECO Environmental Program Receives Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award

Gov. Tom Wolf and the Department of Environmental Protection have recognized PECO with the 2015 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence for the company’s work to restore the site of a former manufactured gas plant in Norristown, PA.

* Gov. Wolf’s First 100 Days, A Review By The Governor

Gov. Tom Wolf Wednesday put out a review of his actions during his first 100 days in office in the form of a memo and video to media.  Here’s what it said with respect to environmental issues.

* PA Environmental Council Offers Comments At First Hearing On DEP Drilling Regs

John Walliser, PA Environmental Council’s vice president for Legal and Government Affairs, offered these comments on the Chapter 78 (conventional) and Chapter 78A (unconventional) proposed final regulations on drilling at DEP’s first hearing on the package Wednesday in Washington County.

* PA Environmental Council Cites Concerns, Opposes Senate Bill 724

Ahead of a scheduled May 6 hearing by Senate Republican Policy Committee on Senate Bill 724 (Vogel-R-Beaver), the PA Environmental Council sent this letter to all members of the Committee citing concerns with the bill and urging opposition to the legislation.  The text of the letter follows--

* PA Environmental Council Launches Environmental Focus TV Show On PCN

The PA Environmental Council has announced it will produce a monthly, half-hour television talk show on environmental issues beginning May 3 on the Pennsylvania Cable Network and later online at PEC’s website.

* General Assembly Returns To Begin Race To Meet June 30 Deadline For Budget

The Senate and House return to session Monday and with their return they begin the run up to the June 30 deadline to pass a state budget.

* 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--

* House Committee Postpones May 7 Hearing On Chapter 78 Drilling Regulations

Rep. John Maher (R-Allegheny), Majority Chair of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, sent out an email Thursday postponing the May 7 Committee hearing on DEP’s proposed final Chapter 78 drilling regulations.

* Senate GOP Policy Committee Holds May 6 Hearing On SB 724 Which Could Derail PA Clean Water Efforts

The Senate Republican Policy Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on May 6 on Senate Bill 724 (Vogel-R-Beaver) the Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA says 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.

* Environmental Issues Forum Features PA Trout Unlimited May 11

The May 11 Environmental Issues Forum hosted by the Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee will feature a presentation by Brian Wagner and Katy Dunlap from PA Trout Unlimited.

* 2015 PA Abandoned Mine Reclamation Conference Registration Now Open

Online registration is now open for the 2015 PA Abandoned Mine Reclamation Conference on June 24-25 at the Ramada Inn and Conference Center in State College, PA. 

* Dominion Awards $135,000 In Grants Supporting Environmental Initiatives In PA

Dominion Resources is making grants totaling $1.2 million available to fifty-two organizations in eight states as part of its competitive program designed to support specific, short-term projects that improve the environment.

* Schuylkill Action Network To Honor Students For Work In Protecting Drinking Water

The Schuylkill Action Network will recognize students in the Schuylkill River Valley for their work protecting drinking water from the Schuylkill River.

* Sewickley Creek Watershed, Partners Celebrate Earth Day In Westmoreland County

Sewickley Creek Watershed Association in Westmoreland County partnered with the City of Greensburg and other groups to conclude a three-year, streambank remediation project and celebrate Earth Day at Lynch Field on April 25.

* 1,700 Students Expected At May 14 Great Lakes Children’s Water Festival In Erie

The Water Systems Council will hold its 2015 Great Lakes Children's Water Festival on May 14 on the campus of Penn State Erie, the Behrend College, drawing almost 1,700 5th grade students from Pennsylvania, New York and Ohio.

* May 5 Webinar: Establishing & Maintaining Forested Stream Buffers

Penn State Extension continues its Green Infrastructure series of webinars with a webcast on May 5 at noon on Establishing and Maintaining Forested Stream Buffers.  Click Here to register.

* April 27 Watershed Winds Newsletter Now Available From Penn State Extension

The April 27 issue of the Watershed Winds newsletter from Penn State Extension is now available featuring articles on--

* Weis Markets Awards KPB’s Great American Cleanup Of PA Gift Cards

Weis Markets, Inc., a sponsor of the Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Great American Cleanup of PA, Tuesday announced the winners of their donated gift cards. 

* Annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event In Centre County May 1-2

The Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority will hold a household hazardous waste collection event on May 1 and 2.

* PA Joins In Declaring Air Quality Awareness Week April 27 To May 1

Pennsylvania will join states across the nation this week in recognizing April 27 through May 1 as Air Quality Awareness Week.

* Marcellus Gas Industry Campaign Contributions Up 47 Percent

A new study finds a 47 percent increase in campaign donations from the natural gas industry to Pennsylvania politicians in the 2013-2014 election cycle (over 2011-2012). Lobbying expenditures grew 13 percent over the same period.

* DEP Awards $2.05 Million In West Nile Virus Grants To 25 Counties

The Department of Environmental Protection Friday awarded $2.05 million in West Nile Virus Control grants to 25 counties.

* April 30 DEP News Now Available

The April 30 edition of the DEP News newsletter is now available from the Department of Environmental Protection featuring articles on--

* May 28 Regional Keystone Energy Education Program Workshop In Philadelphia

The Department of Environmental Protection invites middle school teachers, administrators and building managers to a May 28 training workshop in Philadelphia on the Keystone Energy Education Program (KEEP) to teach and track energy efficiency in school buildings and homes.

* EPA Recognizes 9 PA Universities As Top Green Power Users In Their Conferences

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recognized 9 Pennsylvania colleges and universities as 2014-2015 Individual Conference Champions of the College & University Green Power Challenge, using more green power than any other school in their athletic conferences.

* PUC Enhances PAPowerSwitch.com With New Consumer-Friendly Features

The Public Utility Commission Monday announced a series of enhancements to www.PAPowerSwitch.com, the agency’s consumer-education website with information on shopping for electric suppliers, consumer alerts and reminders, educational videos and more.

* Exelon: Industry Can Achieve EPA Carbon Reduction Goals At Low Cost

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to reduce carbon emissions from existing power plants can be achieved quickly and at low cost to consumers through a voluntary compliance program that uses existing market mechanisms to prioritize the use of emissions-free energy, Exelon Executive Vice President of Governmental and Regulatory Affairs and Public Policy Joseph Dominguez told members of the United States Energy Association Thursday.

* Gov. Wolf Hires Rail Expert To Focus On Oil Train Safety

Gov. Tom Wolf Tuesday announced the hiring of Dr. Allan M. Zarembski, an internationally recognized expert in the area of railway track and structures, vehicle-track dynamics, failure and failure analysis, safety, railway operations, and maintenance.

* DCNR Signs Gas Leases Covering 282 Acres Of Submerged Lands For Nearly $1 Million

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources published notice in the May 2 PA Bulletin on the execution of six oil and gas leases for 282 acres of publicly-owned streambeds returning $972,000 to the agency.

* May 5 Northeast PA Trail Symposium In Scranton

On May 5, The Lackawanna Heritage Valley National and State Heritage Area, the Pennsylvania Environmental Council/Pocono Forest and Waters Conservation Landscape, and the Anthracite Scenic Trails Association will hold a day-long trails symposium at the Lackawanna Heritage Valley offices at 213 S. 7th Ave., Scranton, Lackawanna County.

* DCNR Expands Clean Air Beach Program To 8 State Parks

After a successful two-year operation of a pilot smoke-free beach at a state park in Cumberland County, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Tuesday announced it is expanding the trial program to include eight new state parks across Pennsylvania.

* DCNR To Add 17,000 Acres To Elk State Forest In McKean County

Acting Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn Friday announced the department is adding more than 17,000 acres of wooded land and waterways to the adjacent Elk State Forest with the acquisition of about a 27-square mile property in Norwich and Sergeant townships near the town of Clermont in southern McKean County.

* DCNR To Add 48 Acres To Codorus State Park In York County

Acting Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn Thursday  announced the department will add about 48 acres to Codorus State Park with the acquisition of the former Rohrbaugh property along Blooming Grove Road in Manheim Township, York County.

* Friends Of The Wissahickon Schedule May Walks In The Park

Enjoy May in the Wissahickon, when Friends of the Wissahickon Trail Ambassadors are offering free hikes in Wissahickon Valley Park and free talks at the Cedars House, located at 200 Northwestern Avenue in Philadelphia.

* U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Designates Critical Habitat For Freshwater Mussels In PA

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Thursday finalized critical habitat designations for the rabbitsfoot freshwater mussels in Crawford, Erie, Mercer and Venango counties in Pennsylvania.

* Wildlife For Everyone: Winners Announced In Tom Ridge Wetlands Photo Contest

The Wildlife For Everyone Endowment Foundation welcomed students from across Central Pennsylvania to "Explore, Discover & Understand Wetlands Through the Lens of a Camera" on April 27 at The Governor Tom Ridge Wetlands in Centre County.

* Wildlife Leadership Academy Seeks Students To Be Youth Conservation Ambassadors

The Wildlife Leadership Academy has opened its exclusive Youth Conservation Ambassador nomination process to the public and is currently seeking referrals of motivated students ages 14 to 17 to become Certified Conservation Ambassadors.

* GreenWorks! Grants Are Now Available Thru Project Learning Tree

Project Learning Tree is now accepting applications for GreenWorks! grants for schools and community programs  that engage youth in meaningful service-learning projects and to develop youth leadership and critical thinking skills.  Applications are due by September 30.  Click Here for all the details.  Also visit the EE Resources website for more environmental education resources.

* Webcam Gives Close-Up Look At A Falcon Family

A webcam inside an American kestrel nestbox  monitored by Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Berks County is giving everyone with an internet connection a bird's eye look at the family life of falcons.

* Opportunity To Bid On DEP Mine Reclamation Projects In Allegheny, Westmoreland

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the May 2 PA Bulletin of the opportunity to bid on abandoned mine reclamation projects in Wilkins Twp. and  South Fayette Twp, Allegheny County and  Rostraver Twp. and Salem Twp, in Westmoreland County.

* 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

The Environmental Quality Board published notice in the May 2 PA Bulletin it has accepted rulemaking petitions to redesignate the Hosensack Creek in Lehigh and Montgomery counties and Browns Creek in Greene County.

* CLICK HERE To Print Entire PA Environment Digest

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.

* 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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