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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, June 15, 2015
(6/15/2015)
* EPA: PA Substantially Off Track Meeting Chesapeake Bay Commitments

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Thursday reported Pennsylvania is “substantially off track” in meeting its nitrogen and sediment reduction milestones for agriculture and urban/ suburban stormwater, two of the state’s biggest sectors.

* CBF-PA: PA’s Efforts To Reduce Water Pollution Falling Short Of Commitments

A Chesapeake Bay Foundation review of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s interim milestone assessment shows that Pennsylvania is falling dangerously short of meeting the commitments it made to reduce pollution and restore the Commonwealth’s waterways.

* Analysis: Will PA Show Leadership On Water Cleanup Issues, Or Surrender To Feds?

Pennsylvania hasn’t had a sustained, serious effort to address its nearly 20,000 miles of polluted streams and rivers in the last 12 years.

* PEC Blog: Clean Water Counts More Than Ever In Pennsylvania

The following PA Environmental Council Blog post was written by John Wallizer, Vice President for Legal & Government Affairs for PEC--

* PUC Posts Details On $223.5 Million Drilling Impact Fee Disbursements For 2014

The Public Utility Commission Wednesday published information on the PUC website regarding the final approved distribution of $223.5 million in Act 13 drilling impact fee disbursements, down slightly from last year’s $225.7 million.

* Senate GOP Leaders Issue Statement On 2014 Drilling Impact Fee Revenue Disbursements

Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) and Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-Centre) issued the following statement Tuesday regarding 2014 Marcellus Shale impact fee disbursements:

* Rep. DiGirolamo Introduces Bipartisan Marcellus Shale Severance Tax Proposal

Rep. Gene DiGirolamo (R-Bucks) Wednesday introduced House Bill 1321 which imposes a severance tax on unconventional natural gas production.

* Senate Panels Hear Testimony On Efforts To Improve Safety Of Crude Oil Trains

The Senate Transportation and Environmental Resources and Energy Committees Tuesday heard Gladys Brown, Chair of the Public Utility Commission, which has responsibility to do safety inspections on about 700 rail lines used by crude oil trains, say her agency would like to increase the number of safety inspectors.

* 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--

* Rep. Maher: Bill Strengthening Environmental Quality Board Passes House

The House passed House Bill 1099 (Maher-R-Allegheny) Wednesday establishing an independent counsel for the Environmental Quality Board.  The bill was sponsored by Rep. John Maher (R-Allegheny), Majority Chair of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.

* Senate, House Coal Caucus Hearing June 16 On EPA Clean Power Plan

The Senate and House Legislative Coal Caucus will hold a joint hearing on EPA’s Clean Power Plan June 16 in Harrisburg.

* Nominations For NE PA Environmental Awards Extended To July 1

The Northeast Environmental Partners Tuesday announced the deadline for nominations for the Northeast Environmental Partnership Awards has been extended to July 1.

* DEP Invites Comments On Revised Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System Permit

The Department of Environmental Protection Monday invited local governments, engineers, environmental groups, and the general public to comment on the proposed changes to the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4).

* Volunteers Needed For CBF-PA Tree Planting In Dauphin County June 20

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA will hold a tree planting on June 20 in Londonderry, Dauphin County starting at 9:00 a.m.

* Capital RC&D Hosts Farm Conservation Program Field Days June, July, August

The Capital Resource Conservation & Development Area Council (RC&D) is hosting three field days in June, July and August in Franklin and York counties designed to give farmers and other landowners a look at successful maintenance and management techniques for acreage enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP).

* DCNR, Dickinson College Monitoring Health Of 3 Lakes In Cumberland County

Researchers at Dickinson College are collaborating with the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to study three Cumberland County lakes that are popular spots for fishing, boating and other recreational activities, DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said Monday.

* Duquesne University Receives Grant For Sharing 3Rivers Quest Water Quality Data

Duquesne University’s role in a regional water quality monitoring initiative will be expanded, thanks to continued grant funding from the Colcom Foundation. The new funding will be used to disseminate the results of the ongoing study to community groups, government agencies and individuals in an understandable format.

* Abington Friends School Hosts June 17 Forum On Waters Of U.S. Rule In Montgomery

On June 17 the Abington Friends School will host a forum on the recently finalized EPA Waters of the U.S. rule in Jenkintown, Montgomery County, 575 Washington Lane starting at 5:30.

* June 8 Watershed Winds Newsletter Available From Penn State Extension

The June 8 edition of the Watershed Winds newsletter is now available from Penn State Extension featuring articles on--

* PEC: Bills Allow Committees To Delay Regulations For No Reason, Reduce Transparency

The PA Environmental Council wrote to every member of the House Thursday expressing its concerns with Senate Bill 562 (Gordner-R-Columbia) and House Bill 965 (Godshall-R- Montgomery) that it said would all Senate or House committees to delay regulations for an indeterminate amount of time for no apparent reason and reduce public information available on regulatory proposals.

* June 22 Public Meeting On IESI Landfill Expansion In Northampton County

The Department of Environmental Protection Tuesday announced it will host a public meeting to answer residents’ questions regarding IESI Landfill’s permit application to expand its existing facility on Applebutter Road in Bethlehem, Northampton County.

* June 30 Hearing On Increased Lead Emissions From Northampton Generating Station

The Department of Environmental Protection announced Tuesday it will host a public hearing on an application by Northampton Generating, Inc. located in Northampton Borough, Northampton County to revise its existing permit limit for lead emissions from its circulating fluidized bed boiler.

* PROP Extends Deadline For 2015 PA Waste Watcher Awards To June 30

The Professional Recyclers of PA have extended the deadline for nominations for the 2015 PA Waste Watcher Awards until June 30.

* June 11 DEP News Now Available

The June 11 edition of DEP News is now available from the Department of Environmental Protection featuring articles on--

* EPA Releases Environmental Justice Screening, Mapping Tool

The U.S.  Environmental Protection Agency Wednesday released EJSCREEN, an environmental justice screening and mapping tool that uses high resolution maps combined with demographic and environmental data to identify places with potentially elevated environmental burdens and vulnerable populations.

* Allegheny SolarFest Set For June 20 At Millville Park Allegheny County

In an effort to highlight the untapped potential of solar energy in western Pennsylvania, the Solar Unified Network of Western PA, the Borough of Millvale and dozens of solar companies and supporting organizations are co-sponsoring the second Allegheny SolarFest on  June 20, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Millvale’s Riverfront Park. 

* Penelec Projects Support Shale Gas Industry In Central PA

As part of its efforts to help support Pennsylvania's shale gas industry, Pennsylvania Electric Company (Penelec) is constructing several new power lines and rebuilding others at a cost of nearly $6 million to serve natural gas pumping stations being constructed in central Pennsylvania. 

* PUC Implements Phase III Of Act 129 Energy Efficiency Program

The Public Utility Commission Thursday approved the implementation of a five-year third phase of the Act 129 Energy Efficiency and Conservation programs, requiring additional, incremental reductions in consumption and peak demand for Pennsylvania’s largest electric distribution companies.

* Hershey Named A Top 10 Green Company In U.S. By Newsweek

The Hershey Company was recognized for its continuing commitment to environmental stewardship in Newsweek’s 2015 Green Rankings. Out of the top 500 U.S. companies named, Hershey placed No. 6, moving up 40 spots from last year’s ranking.

* Exelon Recognized For Sustainability Leadership In Newsweek Green Rankings

Exelon was recognized for its environmental performance by ranking No. 61 among the 500 largest publicly traded companies in the U.S. and in the top five among utilities in the 2015 Newsweek Green Rankings.

* Pittsburgh Sustainable Small Business Designations To Be Celebrated June 19

On June 19, shop and celebrate the Sustainable Small Business Designation of a dozen businesses along the Steel Valley Avenues, the business district comprising Homestead, West Homestead, and Munhall in Allegheny County. 

* Wildlands Conservancy Extends Deadline For Lehigh Sojourn Sign-Up

The Wildlands Conservancy has extended the deadline to sign-up for the Lehigh Sojourn to June 19.  Click Here to watch the fun!  Click Here to register.  Click Here for a schedule of river sojourns around Pennsylvania from the PA Organization for Rivers and Watersheds.

* Volunteers Donate $1 Million Worth Of Labor To State Parks, Forests

The PA Parks and Forests Foundation Monday announced the results of their annual survey of 38 affiliated Chapter friends groups.

* U.S. House Votes To Reauthorize National Forest Foundation

Pennsylvania Congressman Glenn Thompson’s legislation-- H.R. 2394-- the National Forest Foundation Reauthorization Act of 2015, passed the U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday by voice vote. 

* Ceremony Opens Ohiopyle State Park Office/Visitor Center In Fayette County

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn Thursday joined state and local officials and many civic partners in the formal dedication of the Ohiopyle State Park Office/Laurel Highlands Falls Area Visitor Center -- an energy-efficient building serving as the hub of public outreach and instruction at the increasingly popular Ohiopyle State Park in Fayette County.

* DCNR: June Events Highlight Economic Impact Of Pennsylvania’s Outdoors

Outdoor recreation areas across Pennsylvania are hosting special events and activities during June as part of a statewide Great Outdoors Month observance, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said Friday.

* Mid-Atlantic Invasive Plant Council Conference August 4-5 In Huntington

The Mid-Atlantic Invasive Plant Council will hold its annual conference August 4-5 at Juniata College, Ellis Hall Ballroom in Huntingdon.

* Emerald Ash Borer Workshop June 18 In Warren

The Allegheny National Forest and the National Wild Turkey Federation are hosting an informational workshop about the emerald ash borer June 18 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Allegheny National Forest Supervisor's Office, 4 Farm Colony Dr., Warren, Pennsylvania.

* Opportunity To Bid On Mine Reclamation Projects In Clinton, Luzerne Counties

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the June 13 PA Bulletin of an opportunity to bid on a mine reclamation projects in Clinton County and Luzerne County.

* 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/Miller Chemical Fire Update

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 June 13 PA Bulletin of a corrective amendment to the Chapter 93 list of stream classifications for the Ohio River Basin.

* 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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