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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, Nov. 2, 2015 Issue #592
* Marcellus Drilling Advisory Committee Does NOT Block Drilling Regs Going To EQB

On Tuesday the five voting members of DEP’s Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board adopted a motion to move DEP’s Chapter 78 (Conventional)  and 78A (Unconventional) drilling regulations to the Environmental Quality Board for final consideration, with industry comments.

* Conventional Drilling Advisory Committee Votes To Block Drilling Regs Going To EQB

The voting members of DEP’s Conventional Oil and Gas Advisory Committee Thursday adopted a resolution urging DEP to restart the rulemaking process for the Chapter 78 and 78a drilling regulations that have been under development since the Act 13 drilling law was adopted in 2012.

* Draft Report Of Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force To Be Available Nov. 6

More than two dozen commenters participated in the fourth meeting of Gov. Tom Wolf’s Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force Wednesday held at DEP's Southcentral Regional Office in Harrisburg. 

* Day 125 Without A State Budget, But The State Still Spent $27 Billion Since July 1

The State Treasurer confirmed Monday state government has spent about $27 billion since July 1, even without an official state budget.  That number is almost equal to the entire General Fund budget in an average 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 [Updated] /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--

* Nov. 16 Joint Conservation Committee Environmental Forum On Sustainable Forestry

The next Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee Environmental Forum will be held on November 16 and will feature a presentation by Chuck Coup, Program Manager for the Pennsylvania Sustainable Forestry Initiative.

* PEC Expresses Opposition In Senate To Bill Making It Easier To Block Regulations

Last Monday, the Pennsylvania Environmental Council wrote to all members of the Pennsylvania Senate expressing its objections to House Bill 965 (Godshall-R-Montgomery) that would make it much easier for the General Assembly to block state agency regulations and statements of policy.

* DEP Invites Comments On New Policy For Assessing, Reporting Stream Quality

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the October 31 PA Bulletin announcing the availability of draft technical guidance on Documenting and Reporting Measurable, Incremental Improvements in Water Quality of Streams, Rivers and Lakes.

* DEP Testifies At Congressional Hearing On Good Samaritan Mine Reclamation

DEP Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation Director Eric Cavazza testified before the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee on October 21 about opportunities for and impediments for good Samaritan mine reclamation.

* John Stefanko Makes Presentation To Brazil On DEP’s Abandoned Mine Reclamation

DEP Executive Deputy Secretary John Stefanko gave a presentation via the web October 12 to the annual IV Regional Seminary on Coal Mining Reclamation in Criciúma, Brazil.

* Lackawanna County Streambank Fencing Installation Promotes Water Quality

DEP's Northeast Regional Waterways and Wetlands Program staff recently installed approximately 200 feet of stream bank fencing at the Hull Farm in Covington Township, Lackawanna County near Scranton.

* Save The Date: 2016 West Branch Susquehanna Restoration Symposium April 14-15

The 2016 West Branch Susquehanna Restoration Symposium will be held on April 14-15 at the Toftrees Resort and Conference Center in State College.

* Master Well Owner Network Educates Thousands Of Water Well Owners

The Penn State Master Well Owner Network had another successful year of education for private water system owners across Pennsylvania.

* Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA Quarterly Update Now Available

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA quarterly update is now available featuring stories on--

* Alliance For Chesapeake Bay: How To Build A Rain Garden And Reduce Stormwater

The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay has a guide on how homeowners can reduce stormwater runoff by constructing a rain garden.

* Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA: Native Plants A Cool Choice For Fall Planting

By Harry Campbell, Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA Office Director

* DEP: Final Coastal Resources Management Strategy Now Available

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the October 31 PA Bulletin announcing the availability of the final Coastal Resources Management Assessment and Strategy for the Commonwealth required by the Federal Coastal Zone Management Program.

* Save The Date: 2016 PA Groundwater Symposium May 4, Call For Abstracts In November

Penn State Extension and its partners will hold the 2016 PA Groundwater Symposium on May 4 at the Ramada Inn Conference Center in State College.

* Oct. 26 Watersheds Winds Newsletter Now Available From Penn State Extension

The October 26 issue of the Watershed Winds newsletter is now available from Penn State Extension featuring articles on--

* October UpStream Newsletter Now Available From Stroud Water Research Center

The October issue of UpStream, the monthly newsletter from the Stroud Water Research Center in Avondale, Chester County is now available featuring stories on--

* DEP Environmental Justice Advisory Board Meeting Location Moved For Nov. 5

The November 5 meeting of DEP’s Environmental Justice Advisory Board will now be held at DEP’s Southeast Regional Office, Delaware Room, 2 East Main Street in Norristown starting at 9:00.

* Green Schools-Blue Waters PA Farms To Schools Program Webinar Nov. 17

The Green Schools-Blue Waters Initiative will host a PA Farms To Schools Program webinar on November 17 starting at 3:00.

* PA Environmental Educators Extend Deadline For Submitting Proposals For Conference

The PA Association of Environmental Educators have extend the deadline for submitting proposals for presentations at the 2016 annual conference on March 14-16 in Pocono Manor, Monroe  County.  The new deadline is November 16.

* DCNR, DEP Held High School Career Expo In Harrisburg

High school students from the Harrisburg area visited the Rachel Carson State Office Building in Harrisburg on October 28 to take part in DEP’s and DCNR’s High School Career Expo.

* DEP Offers Summer Internships For College Students

The Department of Environmental Protection offers summer internships in a variety of areas, including engineering, scientific and technical and government service.  The deadline for applications is March 1.  Visit DEP’s Internships webpage for all the details on how to apply.

* Keep PA Beautiful Reports 50% Reduction In Cigarette Litter At Erie Port Facilities

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Wednesday announced there was a 50 percent reduction in cigarette litter at the facilities of the Erie-Western Pennsylvania Port Authority in Erie County as a result of implementing a Cigarette Litter Prevention Program.

* PROP Recycling Education And Social Media Workshop Nov. 4 In Bellefonte

The Professional Recyclers of PA are hosting a Recycling Education and Social Media Workshop on November 4 at the Centre County Refuse and Recycling Authority Office, 253 Transfer Road in Bellefonte, PA.

* PA Recycling Industries Congress Nov. 17 In Harrisburg

The PA Waste Industries Association and the PA Recycling Markets Center will host the 2015 PA Recycling Industries Congress in the Capitol Building Harrisburg on November 17 from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

* Update On DEP Investigation Into Scranton Sewer Malodor Event

The Department of Environmental Protection Thursday said it has identified the chemicals within the malodorous substance discovered in the Scranton sewer system in the vicinity of the Greenridge section of the city on the night of September 24. DEP is continuing to investigate the source of the substance.

* StateImpact: PA Supreme Court To Hear More Arguments On Act 13 Drilling Law

StateImpact PA reported Friday the PA Supreme Court Tuesday issued an order saying it will hear challenges to the Act 13 drilling law related to doctor access to fracking chemical information, eminent domain for natural gas storage facilities and certain exclusions from notification of spills for owners and residents relying on private water sources.

* Op-Ed: Despite Shale Series, PA Is Protecting Your Air And Water

By John Quigley, Secretary, Department of Environmental Protection

* FracTracker, ForestEthics Host Oil Train Response Conference Nov. 13

FracTracker and ForestEthics will host an Oil Train Response 2015 Conference on November 13 at the Wyndham Pittsburgh University Center in Pittsburgh.

* PUC Urges Utilities To Help Consumers Prepare Now For Winter, Higher Heating Bills

As part of its 13th year of “Prepare Now” education efforts, the Public Utility Commission Thursday urged utilities to take extra steps to help consumers – especially those on limited and fixed incomes – to prepare for winter heating costs.

* Start Applying For Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Nov. 2

Families struggling to pay heating bills or waking up to a broken furnace or a service shutdown can start applying for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) November 2.

* PEC Expresses Opposition To Bill Allowing Opt-Out Of Energy Efficiency Program

The PA Environmental Council Monday expressed its opposition to Senate Bill 805 (Boscola-D-Lehigh) which would allow large commercial and industrial electric customers to opt out of the Act 129 Energy Efficiency and Conservation Program.

* Sunbury Coal Power Plant To Be Replaced With 1,124 MW Natural Gas Plant

Panda Power Funds announced Wednesday it has financed the 1,124 megawatt Panda “Hummel Station” power plant — one of the largest coal-to-natural gas power conversion projects in the United States.

* Penn State Natural Gas Utilization Conference Explored Infrastructure, Demand, Tech

Nearly 250 national leaders in energy, business, academia and government gathered in Southpointe, Washington County Thursday for the fifth annual Penn State Natural Gas Utilization Conference.

* PPL Proposes New 475 Mile PA-NY Transmission Line Starting In Lackawanna County

PPL Electric Utilities Corporation has begun the application and approval process for the first segment of Project Compass – a major new transmission line proposed by PPL Electric Utilities to provide significant benefits for consumers.

* 9 PA Schools Leading In EPA Athletic Conference Green Power Challenge

Nine Pennsylvania schools are leading so far this season in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s College and University Green Power Conference Challenge.

* DEP’s Last Listening Session On EPA’s Clean Power Climate Plan Nov. 4 In Williamsport

The last in the series of 14 listening sessions DEP is holding on the federal Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon emissions from power plants will be held on November 4 in Williamsport, Lycoming County, at Penn College, Mountain Laurel Room, One College Avenue from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.

* Oct. 29 DEP News Now Available

The October 29 issue of DEP News is now available from the Department of Environmental Protection featuring stories on--

* U.S. Army Announces Claims Process For Damages Sustained In Runaway Blimp Incident

The PA Emergency Management Agency announced Friday the U.S. Army has established a process for filing claims by citizens who sustained damages or losses related to the runaway JLENS blimp incident over Eastern Pennsylvania on October 28.

* PEC’s First PA Environmentalist Looks At Conservation Through Cooperation

The inaugural issue of The Pennsylvania Environmentalist from the PA Environmental Council examines PEC’s brand of advocacy embodied in the simple phrase, “Conservation Through Cooperation.”

* PA Wilds Program Awards Mini-Grants To Promote Tourism In The 13-County Region

The PA Wilds Program Team Friday announced the award of grants under its 2015 Mini-Grant Program.

* Brodhead Watershed Assn. Autumn Wander Nov. 15 In Monroe County

Brodhead Watershed Association and Pocono Heritage Land Trust naturalists will lead and Autumn Wander on November 15 through the nature-decorated 777-acre Paradise Price Preserve, a gem in the Monroe County Open Space Program that features natural history and abundant beauty.

* Western PA Society For Conservation Biology Annual Conference Nov. 7 In Clarion

The Western PA Chapter of the Society for Conservation Biology will hold its annual conference at Clarion University in Clarion on November 7 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

* Manada Conservancy Hosts Forest Insect Pests Of PA Workshop Nov. 10

The Manada Conservancy will host a public workshop on Forest Insect Pests of PA on November 10 at the Perking Point in the Giant Shopping Center on Rt. 39 at 257 Hershey Road in Hummelstown in Dauphin County.

* Delaware Highlands Conservancy Eagle Watch Training Day Dec. 5 In Pike County

The Delaware Highlands Conservancy is pleased to announce an Eagle Watch Volunteer Training Day on December 5, from 9:00 a.m. -1 p.m. in Lackawaxen, Pike County.

* American Kestrels Return To Stroud Preserve In Chester County

By offering protected nesting space at Stroud Preserve, Natural Lands Trust has given American Kestrels a reason to return to West Chester in Chester County.

* Game Commission: High-Tech Cameras Scary-Effective In Protecting Bats

An alert sounds through a smartphone speaker.  A real-time trail-camera photo has just been sent by text message to a Game Commission wildlife conservation officer. People are trespassing again at an abandoned mine site, perhaps not even realizing any breach into the mine poses a serious and potentially lethal threat to already-beleaguered cave-bat populations there.

* DEP Launching New Website On November 6

The Department of Environmental Protection will be launching a new website on November 6.  Users of the existing website may see an interruption of service at the old site. 

* DEP’s Heidi Kunka Honored With Greenest Apple Award By Green Building Council

The Central PA Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council honored DEP Energy Program Specialist Heidi Kunka with its “Greenest Apple” award at it's October 22 Forever Green Awards.

* 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 - October 31, 2015

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* 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 UnlimitedSponsor: 2016 Keystone Coldwater Conference, State College, Feb. 26-27.

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