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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, Dec. 21, 2015 Issue #599
* Updated: House Again Throws Wrench Into Budget Action, Next Steps Uncertain

Note: This budget story will be updated through the weekend.  The latest news is always available at the PA Environment Digest Daily Blog, Twitter Feed or our Google+ Circle.

* Endocrine Disruptors, Herbicides Likely Causes For Bass Decline In Susquehanna

Based on a multi-agency, multi-year study of one of the most complex river systems in Pennsylvania, the two most likely causes for the population decline of smallmouth bass in the Susquehanna River are endocrine-disrupting compounds and herbicides; and pathogens and parasites.

* CBF-PA Urges Impairment Listing For Lower Susquehanna In Wake Of River Study

Harry Campbell, Pennsylvania Executive Director for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation issued this statement Monday following the Department of Environmental Protection’s release of a multi-year study to identify what is causing the decline of smallmouth bass in the Susquehanna River.

* Fish Commission, Abele Fund Launch Save Our Susquehanna Fundraising Site

The Fish and Boat Commission Wednesday announced it has partnered with the nonprofit Ralph Abele Conservation Scholarship Fund to launch an online FirstGiving fundraising site for the Susquehanna River, broadening the agency’s efforts to save the ailing river.

* DEP Announces Major Reorganization Of Water Management, Other Responsibilities

DEP Secretary John Quigley Monday announced a major reorganization of DEP’s water management responsibilities to provide additional protection of Pennsylvania’s water resources. Under this new structure, the current Water Management deputate has been split into a regulatory focused deputate, and a resources and planning deputate.

* DEP Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force Moves Last Meeting To Jan. 20

The DEP Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force met Wednesday and decided to move its last meeting to January 20 from the 13th and spent most of its meeting time trying to decide how to identify which of the 184 recommendations in the draft Task Force Report were most important.

* DEP Sets Dec. 22 Meetings Of Oil & Gas Advisory Committees With Limited Public Notice

The Department of Environmental Protection has scheduled meetings of the Conventional Oil and Gas Advisory Committee and the Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board for December 22 with very limited public notice.  Both meetings will be held by conference call/Webex.

* PUC Commissioner Powelson Supports Extended Clean Power Plan Review Time

PUC Commissioner Robert Powelson Thursday sent a letter to Senate and House leadership expressing his “strong support” for extending the review period for any plan developed to meet EPA’s Clean Power Climate rule contained in the Senate-passed Fiscal Code bill -- House Bill 1327 (Peifer-R-Pike).

* 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 [Changing] /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--

* Bill To Promote Unwanted Prescription Drug Collection Events Clears House Committee

The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee Friday reported out bills providing for the safe destruction of unwanted or unused prescription drugs, creating a private dam financial assurance program and a resolution calling for a review of the state’s program to regulate the beneficial use of sewage sludge.

* Joint Conservation Committee Issues Green Paper On High-Hazard Dams In PA

The Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee Monday issued another in its series of Green Papers, this one on high-hazard unsafe dams in Pennsylvania.

* December Environmental Synopsis Now Available From Joint Conservation Committee

The December edition of the Environmental Synopsis newsletter is now available from the Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee featuring articles on--

* DEP Publishes Advisory Committee, Board Meeting Dates For 2016, DEP Contacts List

The Department of Environmental Protection published its schedule of advisory committee and board meetings for 2016 in the December 19 PA Bulletin (page 7230) along with an updated list of DEP staff contacts for each committee.  The notice includes meeting dates for--

* Academy Of Sciences Accepting Proposals For $5M In Delaware River Research Grants

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is now accepting proposals for grants to support research into the water quality issues in the Delaware River Watershed funded by the William Penn Foundation.

* Highlights Of Dec. 9/10 Meetings Of Delaware River Basin Commission

The Delaware River Basin Commission provided a summary of actions taken and issues presented at its December 9 meeting and December 10 hearing.  Click Here for the complete rundown.

* PEC TV: Environmental Focus Polluted Stormwater In PA’s Waterways, PCN Dec. 20

On average, Pennsylvania receives over 40 inches of precipitation each year, but in some areas, all it takes is one-tenth of an inch to cause polluted stormwater to overflow into municipal sewer systems.

* DEP Analysis Concludes No Radioactivity Danger in Tenmile Creek, Greene County

An extensive six-month investigation by the Department of Environmental Protection has concluded that there is no indication of any elevated radioactivity in Tenmile Creek in Greene County.

* Dec. 14 Chesapeake Bay Journal Now Available

The December 14 summary of news from the Chesapeake Bay Journal is now available featuring stories on--

* PA Environmental Educators Accepting 2016 Award Nominations

The PA Association of Environmental Educators is now accepting nominations for the 2016 PAEE Educators Awards.  The deadline for entries is January 15.

* 2016 PA Environmental Educators Conference Registration Now Open

Registration is now open for the 2016 PA Association of Environmental Educators Conference on March 14-16 at the Inn At Pocono Manor, Monroe County.  This year’s theme is “Breaking Bad, Creating New.”

* Ralph W. Abele College Scholarship Program Now Accepting Applications

The Ralph W. Abele Conservation Scholarship Fund is now accepting applications for its 2016 college scholarship program to support students majoring in one of several fields of environmental education, including  fisheries, forestry, ecology, wildlife management or environmental resource management. 

* PA Society College Scholarship Program Now Accepting Applications

The Pennsylvania Society is excited to launch The Pennsylvania Society Scholarship Program in partnership with the Maguire Foundation. In its first year, the scholarship program will offer $200,000 in scholarship awards to 25  Pennsylvania high school students to attend college in Pennsylvania.

* PSECU Offering Six, 4-Year $8,000 College Scholarships

The PA State Employees Credit Union is now offering PSECU members six $8,000 college scholarships that provides students with up to $2,000 per year for up to four years.  You can become a member of PSECU by December 31 and still qualify. The deadline to apply is February 29.  Click Here for all the details.

* Interns Wanted: Lacawac Sanctuary Field Station Seeking Summer Interns

The Lacawac Sanctuary Field Station in Lake Ariel, Wayne County is seeking qualified college students with professional skills in various areas of research and education.

* Heinz Endowments: Videos Of Presentations Available From Nov. Oil Train Conference

Videos of the presentations made at the Oil Trains 2015: Community Risks & Solutions Conference sponsored by The Heinz Endowments in Pittsburgh on November 13 are now available on the Endowments’ website.

* CNX Gas Pays $450K In Penalties For Washington County Water Withdrawal Violations

In a joint action, the Department of Environmental Protection and the Fish and Boat Commission have signed a consent assessment and settlement agreement with CNX Gas Company LLC to settle violations of the state’s Oil and Gas Act and the Fish and Boat Code.

* Sen. Yaw: Assistance Available For Chesapeake Leaseholders

In light of the recent lawsuit filed against Chesapeake Energy by the state Office of the Attorney General, Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming) Wednesday said his office will continue to assist local residents with inquiries related to the matter.

* The Fight Against Litter By Walking Stick Productions Winner Of PRC Video Contest

The PA Resources Council Friday announced the winner of its 2015 Anti-Litter Video Contest in Pittsburgh is The Fight Against Litter, produced by Walking Stick Productions.

* PA Resources Council Suggests Making Green New Year’s Resolution

The PA Resources Council urges Pennsylvanians make a New Year’s resolution to care for the environment by reducing, reusing and recycling their waste everyday.

* 25 Communities Receiving Keep PA Beautiful’s 25th Anniversary Grants Get Results

The 25 communities in 21 counties receiving Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful’s 25th anniversary grants to address illegal dumping, litter and beautification have achieved real results.

* Host Municipal Inspector Grant Applications Due To DEP March 31

The Department of Environmental Protection is now accepting applications for reimbursements for the 2015 Host Municipality Inspector Program through March 31.  (formal notice)

* Christmas Tree Recycling Offered At 17 Locations In Westmoreland County

Westmoreland Cleanways and Recycling would like to encourage everyone to continue the spirit of giving by recycling your live Christmas tree at one of 17 locations in Westmoreland County.

* PEMA: Give The Gift Of Preparedness This Holiday Season

While severe winter weather has stayed away from Pennsylvania so far this winter, emergencies can happen at any time. State officials say now is a good time to consider giving loved ones the gift of emergency preparedness this year.

* Andrew Place Selected As Vice Chair Of Public Utility Commission

Public Utility Commission Chairman Gladys M. Brown Thursday announced the Commissioners’ selection of Andrew G. Place as Vice Chairman, effective January 1. He will replace John F. Coleman Jr., who has served as Vice Chairman since 2011 and will remain as a Commissioner with a term expiring April 1, 2017.

* PEC, Partners: Unlocking Hydroelectric Potential In PA A Two-Way Street

On December 8, the PA Environmental Council partnered with the Penelec Sustainable Energy Fund of the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies, in coordination with the Public Utility Commission, to host “Untapped Potential: A Briefing on Hydroelectricity in Pennsylvania.”

* DCNR Offers Online Tours Of 10 Green Buildings In State Parks, Forests

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources now has available online tours of 10 LEED-certified green buildings in State Parks and Forests around the state. The buildings include:

* Reminder: Central PA Green Building Chapter Issues Call For Conference Presentations

Just a reminder the U.S. Green Building Council Central PA Chapter will be accepting presentation proposals for its March 17 GreenCon Conference at Dickinson College in Carlisle until December 22. Click Here for all the details.

* Environmental Groups Release Climate Impact Report On Wildlife

Pennsylvania’s outdoor traditions like hunting and fishing are increasingly at risk due to rising temperatures, according to a new report by the National Wildlife Federation.

* Penn State: New Drilling Technique Enhances Oil Recovery, Sequesters Carbon Dioxide

A proposed recovery technique for oil extraction developed by a Penn State–led research team not only outperforms existing drilling and recovery techniques, but also has the potential to sequester more carbon dioxide in the process.

* Wildlife For Everyone: Colyer Lake Restoration Nears Completion In Centre County

An 11-week process to refill a popular Centre County fishing and boating destination is underway. The dam at Colyer Lake, located just off Route 322 in Potter Township, was deemed structurally deficient in 2012 and the lake was emptied less than 12 months later.

* Application Period Opening Soon For 2016 Get Outdoors PA Mini-Grants

The application period for the second round of Get Outdoors PA Mini-Grants Program will open on January 4, but applicants must be Get Outdoors PA Community Partners.  Applications are due March 4.

* Get Outdoors PA Partnership Connects Citizens With Outdoor Activities

More than 100 community partners and parks across Pennsylvania now participate in Get Outdoors PA—the program that offers organized, instructor-led activities to provide citizens with no-worry adventures like an after-work walk or hike; a Saturday morning bird watch; or an overnight family camping experience without the travel.

* Susquehanna Greenways Photo Contest Now Accepting Entries

The Susquehanna Greenways Partnership is now accepting entries for its 2016 Photo Contest through June 30.

* Fall/Winter eConnections Newsletter Now Available From Susquehanna Greenway

The Fall/Winter edition of the eConnections newsletter is now available from the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership featuring articles on--

* State Park First Day Hikes Offer Invigorating Start To New Year

To promote a healthy start to the new year, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will sponsor free, guided hikes in 23 state parks on New Year’s Day as part of America's State Parks First Day Hikes initiative in all 50 states.

* DCNR: Salvage Harvest of Hazardous Trees At Bald Eagle State Park, Centre County

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources officials Friday announced work on 72 acres within Bald Eagle State Park’s Rustic Camping Area will include a timber salvage harvest on the tract, consisting of mixed hardwoods and many dead and dying white ash trees affected by an emerald ash borer infestation. Work is scheduled to begin later this month.

* Dec. 16 DCNR Resource Newsletter Now Available

The December 16 edition of the Resource newsletter is now available from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources featuring articles on--

* Fort Indiantown Gap Earns U.S. Army National Guard Environmental Award

The Fort Indiantown Gap Training Center in Dauphin and Lebanon counties has received a first place award in the environmental restoration team category, and second place in the natural resources conservation team category in the 2015 Army National Guard Environmental Security Awards.

* Delaware Highlands Conservancy Announces Winter Eagle Watching Events

Join the Delaware Highlands Conservancy and its partners for a series of eagle-watching events all winter long, including guided bus tours and the third annual Eagle Day at the Wallenpaupack Environmental Learning Center.

* Game Commission: Christmas Comes Early For Eagle Cam Viewers

What’s better than a camera that gives viewers worldwide a rare glimpse inside a bald-eagle nest?  That’s easy – two cameras.

* Help Wanted: PA Trout Unlimited Coldwater Heritage Partnerships Program Director

PA Trout Unlimited is seeking qualified candidates to fill the position of Program Director to oversee the Coldwater Heritage Partnerships and its programs.  The position will be open until filled.  Click Here for all the details on the position and how to apply.  

* Help Wanted: Berks Conservation District West Nile Virus, Vector Manager

The Berks County Conservation District is seeking qualified candidates to fill a West Nile Virus, Vector Manager position.  Applications are due December 31.  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 & Permit

The Department of Environmental Protection published its schedule of advisory committee and board meetings for 2016 in the December 19 PA Bulletin (page 7230).

* CLICK HERE To Print Entire PA Environment Dig

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:

* 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.

* The Letort: A Limestone Legacy Benefits Letort, Central PA Conservancy

Just in time for holiday giving, The Letort: A Limestone Legacy by Michael Klimos is a newly released compendium of essays about the history, fishing and status of the world famous Letort Spring Run in Cumberland County.

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