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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, June 8, 2015
(6/8/2015)
* Delaware County High School Takes 2015 PA Envirothon Honors

Penncrest High School in Delaware County placed first in 2015 Pennsylvania State Envirothon competition, scoring 572 points out possible 600, and earning the honor of representing Pennsylvania in upcoming North American competition.

* Hearing Yields Little New On Severance Tax, Except They Don’t Benefit The Environment

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy and Finance Committees held a hearing Monday on natural gas severance tax proposals and their impact on the gas industry and Pennsylvania’s economy.

* Twelve Severance Tax Proposals Pending In Senate, House, So Far

There are now an even dozen natural gas severance tax proposals pending in the Senate and House, most of which fund everything but environmental programs.  Three more have been announced in the House, but have yet to be introduced.  Here’s a rundown.

* Act 13 Drilling Impact Fee Down Slightly For 2014

The Pittsburgh Business Times reported Tuesday the Public Utility Commission will distribute $223.5 million in Act 13 drilling impact fee revenue from 2014, down about 1 percent from 2013 revenue.  For 2013, revenue was $225.7 million.  The PUC had no specific reason for the revenue decline.  For more information, visit the PUC’s Act 13 Impact Fee webpage.

* Senate Confirms John Quigley As Secretary Of DEP, Issues Raised At Hearing

The Senate Wednesday voted 44-4 to confirm John Quigley as Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection.

* Senate Confirms Cindy Dunn As DCNR Secretary

The Senate Tuesday unanimously confirmed the nomination of Cindy Dunn as Secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

* DEP Citizens Advisory Council Meets June 16 On Act 54 Deep Coal Mining Impact Report

The DEP Citizens Advisory Council will meet on June 16 and on the agenda is a discussion of the Council’s draft comments on DEP’s report on the impact of underground mining required by Act 54.

* 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 Democrats Hold Hearing On Wolf Energy Investment Plan

The energy investment plan contained in Gov. Tom Wolf's budget proposal would create good, green jobs, save schools and municipalities money through reduced electric costs and help the environment.

* Sen. Bartolotta Bill Encourages Reuse Of Treated Mine Water For Fracking Gas Wells

Sen. Camera Bartolotta (R-Greene) introduced Senate Bill 875 Thursday to help reduce the use of fresh water in natural gas drilling operations by promoting the use of treated mine water.

* Senate Committees Hold June 9 Hearing On Oil Train Safety

The Senate Transportation and the Environmental Resources and Energy Committees will hold a joint hearing from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on June 9 in Harrisburg to collect testimony on the “Safe Transportation of Crude Oil and Other Energy Products by Rail in Pennsylvania.”

* Senate Environmental Committee Holds June 11 Hearing On Anthracite Coal Industry

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee will hold a hearing on June 11 on issues affecting Pennsylvania’s anthracite coal industry and coal-refuse fired alternative energy plants.

* Paint Creek Regional Watershed Association Receives Western PA Environmental Award

The Paint Creek Regional Watershed Association in Somerset County was recognized recently with a Western PA Environmental Award at a May 27 ceremony sponsored by Dominion and the PA Environmental Council in Pittsburgh.

* EPA: Fracking Has Not Lead To Widespread, Systemic Impacts On Drinking Water

The Environmental Protection Agency released a draft assessment Thursday on the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing activities which shows that while hydraulic fracturing activities  in the U.S. are carried out in a way that have not led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources, there are potential vulnerabilities in the water lifecycle that could impact drinking water.

* Susquehanna University Opens Freshwater Research Laboratory

Susquehanna University officially opened its Freshwater Research Laboratory at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday.

* Op-Ed: Fate Of Beloved Chesapeake Bay Blue Crabs Is In Your Hands Pennsylvania

By Harry Campbell, Director of the Pennsylvania Office, Chesapeake Bay Foundation

* DEP Chesapeake Bay Management Team Meets June 18

The DEP Chesapeake Bay Management Team is scheduled to meet on June 18 in the Susquehanna Rooms of DEP’s Southcentral Regional Office, 909 Elmerton Ave., Harrisburg starting at 1:00.  (formal notice)  No agenda for the meeting has been posted.

* Sen. Alloway, Alliance For Chesapeake Bay Announce Oct. 17 Tree Planting Event

Sen. Richard Alloway II (R-Franklin) and the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay are asking local residents to participate in a tree-planting events in Cumberland and Franklin counties on October 17.

* June Chesapeake Currents Newsletter Now Available

The June edition of the Chesapeake Currents newsletter is now available from the federal Chesapeake Bay Program featuring articles on--

* Susquehanna River Basin Commission Approves New Fee Schedule, Withdrawal Projects

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission Thursday approved a new regulatory fee schedule and 17 water withdrawal requests as well as its FY 2017 budget.

* Fill Out DEP Survey On Abandoned Mine Reclamation Program

The Department of Environmental Protection is giving the abandoned mine reclamation community an opportunity to provide feedback on your interactions with the department regarding abandoned mine issues since DEP's reorganization in 2011.

* DEP Reaches Agreement With Hyndman Boro To Resolve Safe Drinking Water Violations

The Department of Environmental Protection Thursday announced Hyndman Borough in Bedford County has agreed to make necessary improvements that will address ongoing monitoring, treatment and recording issues at its water treatment plant.

* Reminder: PA Horticultural Society Gardening, Greening Contest Entries Due June 15

The PA Horticultural Society Gardening and Greening Contest entries are due June 15 to recognize backyard gardeners, community gardeners and anyone passionate about greening public spaces.

* DEP Fines Chevron Nearly $1 Million For Fatal Greene County Gas Well Fire

The Department of Environmental Protection Monday announced it has entered into a Consent Assessment of Civil Penalty with Chevron Appalachia, LLC for violations related to a fatal explosion and fire at the company’s Lanco Well Site in Dunkard Township, Greene County.

* PUC Releases Summer Readiness Reports From Electric Utilities

The Public Utility Commission Thursday released the 2015 Summer Readiness Overview reports from the state’s 11 electric distribution companies and the regional transmission organization, PJM Interconnection.

* DEP: Mosquito Spraying Set For McKean County On June 8

The Department of Environmental Protection Thursday said it will conduct a mosquito control operation to reduce high populations of nuisance mosquitoes on June 8 in parts of Eldred Borough and Eldred Township, McKean County.

* Vote For Your Favorite Great American Cleanup Of PA Video By June 12

Voting has begun for the 3nd Annual Great American Cleanup of PA Video Contest! Keep PA Beautiful received 14 entries that are representative of the diverse grassroots network that participates in the Great American Cleanup of PA.

* Keep PA Beautiful Now Accepting Applications For Fresh Paint Days PA Grants

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Tuesday announced it is accepting applications for the 2015 Fresh Paint Days Pennsylvania grants. Applications are due July 31.

* June e-PRC Newsletter Now Available From PA Resources Council

The June edition of the e-PRC newsletter from the PA Resources Council is now available featuring articles on--

* PA Environmental Council: In Case You Missed It For May

The latest issue of In Case You Missed It reviews activities by the PA Environmental Council for May featuring articles on--

* Lacawac Sanctuary: Student Conservation & Leadership Academy July 12-18

The Lacawac Sanctuary is now accepting applications for its student Conservation and Leadership Academy to be held July 12-18 open to students 13-15 years old in Pike and Wayne counties.  The application deadline is June 15.

* Weis Markets Receives Top Honor For Sustainability Initiatives

Sunbury-based Weis Markets Monday announced it is the recipient of the 2015 “Retail Sustainability Award from Produce Business magazine for its overall corporate sustainability initiatives.

* Martin Guitar Supports Sustainable Forestry Wood Summit

The Bureau of State Parks—and Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center, Northampton County—in particular enjoyed the limelight May 7 when C. F. Martin & Co. Inc. hosted its fifth Bi-Annual Wood Summit at the company's headquarters in Nazareth.

* June 3 Resource Newsletter Now Available From DCNR

The June 3 edition of the Resource newsletter is now available from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources featuring articles on--

* Fish & Boat Commission Save Our Susquehanna Campaign To Help Sick Bass

The Fish and Boat Commission Tuesday announced it has launched an “S.O.S. - Save Our Susquehanna!” campaign to fund water and soil conservation projects along the Susquehanna River, whose young smallmouth bass population has been plagued over the last decade by illness and elevated mortality rates.

* Brodhead Watershed Assn Cherry Valley Festival June 13 In Monroe County

Celebrate Cherry Valley’s natural beauty at the annual Cherry Valley Festival, to be held 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 13, at the Josie Porter Farm, 6514 Cherry Valley Road, Stroudsburg.

* DCNR Proposes Exchange Of Game Commission Property In Elk County

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources published notice in the June 6 PA Bulletin of a proposed exchange of property with the Game Commission in Elk County. The exchange would involve 291.43 acres of State Game Lands near the Thunder Mountain Equestrian Trail just north of Benezette that would be given to DCNR.

* Wildlife For Everyone: 174,425 Seedlings Shipped To 838 Schools

More than 170,000 seedlings were distributed to students in 838 schools across Pennsylvania this spring through the Game Commission's Seedlings For Schools Program.

* DCNR Now Accepting Applications For Grants To Protect Non-Game Species

The Wild Resource Conservation Program in the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is now accepting applications for grants to protect the state’s native biodiversity.  Applications are due June 30.

* Game Commission Strategic Plan Now Available For Review

The 2015-2020 Game Commission Strategic Plan is available for public review which outlines a five-year roadmap of the agency's goals and strategies for management of the 480 species of wild birds and mammals in the state. This plan has not yet received final approval.

* Game Commission: Love Spring Weather? Ticks Do Too

A gorgeous spring day simply shouldn't be wasted indoors.  But enjoying the state’s scenic beauty and plethora of outdoor recreational opportunities comes with its risks.

* CFA Request For Proposals For Solar Energy Economic Modeling Services

The Commonwealth Financing Authority published notice in the June 6 PA Bulletin it is soliciting proposals for Solar Energy Economic Modeling Advisory Services.  Proposals are due June 19.

* 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 - June 6, 2015

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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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