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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, Jan. 4, 2016 Issue #601
(1/4/2016)
* A 1,000 Stories, On 1,000s Of PA Environmental Stewards Since 2004, 134 Stories In 2015

Since June of 2004, the PA Environment Digest has printed nearly 1,000 stories about thousands of individuals, businesses, farmers, schools, local governments, students of all ages, nonprofit groups and organizations just like you honored for doing great things to protect and restore Pennsylvania’s environment in every corner of the Commonwealth.

* Gov. Wolf Vetoes $6.864B From Republican Budget Bill, GOP In No Hurry To Come Back

Gov. Tom Wolf Tuesday announced he line-item vetoed $6.864 billion of the $30.263 billion House Republican budget in House Bill 1460 (Adolph-R-Delaware) -- allowing six months of school district, other state and all federal funding to be available.

* Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA Puts Environmental Protection Funding Into Perspective

Harry Campbell, PA Executive Director for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation issued this statement Wednesday following Gov. Tom Wolf’s line-item veto of parts of the state budget for 2015-16, specifically relating to funding the Department of Environmental Protection.

* Analysis: State Environmental Agency Funding Hasn’t Caught Up To 2 Decades Ago

Even with the recent increases in state funding, General Fund support for the departments of Environmental Protection and Conservation and Natural Resources still remains below where it was more than two decades ago.

* Status Of Remaining Budget-Related Bills

Here’s the current status of the budget-related bills that have been in-play in the Senate and House since July 1.  Note: Future action on the budget may include other legislative vehicles for one or more of these issues --

* State Treasury Expediting $3.3B In Delayed Payments; Vendors, Check Status Of Invoices

The State Treasurer’s Office has received payment requests from the governor’s Office of the Budget for approximately 16,400 delayed payments totaling nearly $3.3 billion to school districts, counties and human service organizations and expects the funds to be delivered by the middle of next week.

* 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

Here are the Senate and House Calendars and Committee meetings showing bills of interest as well as a list of new environmental bills introduced-- 

* Bills On Governor's Desk

The following bills were given final approval by the Senate and House and are now on the Governor's desk for action--

* Drillers Win Procedural Ruling On DEP Permit Reviews For Impacts On Public Resources

Commonwealth Court Tuesday ruled the Department of Environmental Protection does have to file responses to a challenge from the PA Independent Oil and Gas Association challenging DEP right to review conventional oil and gas drilling permits for their impacts on rare and endangered species, parks, drinking water supplies and other public resources.

* Driller EQT Wins Procedural Ruling Against DEP In Setting Penalties

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Wednesday EQT drilling won a procedural ruling from the PA Supreme Court saying the company did not have to exhaust its administrative remedies before challenging a $4.5 million penalty levied by DEP in 2014 in court.

* Op-Ed: Sneak Attack On Environmental Protection In Fiscal Code Bill

By Rep. Greg Vitali (D-Delaware), Minority Chair of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee

* Commonwealth Court Upholds Ability Of A Governor To Line-Item Veto Fiscal Code Bill

The Commonwealth Court Wednesday issued a ruling upholding the ability of a Governor to line-item veto provisions in a Fiscal Code bill-- House Bill 278-- vetoed by Gov. Corbett in 2014

* DEP: Natural Gas, Coal Bed Methane Emission Reports Due March 1

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the January 2, 2016 PA Bulletin natural gas and coal bed methane emissions must be reported for calendar year 2015 by March 1.

* Lacawac Sanctuary & Field Station 2014-15 Annual Report Now Available

The 2014-15 Annual Report of the Lacawac Sanctuary and Field Station in Lake Ariel, Wayne County is now available.

* Order Now: Berks Conservation District Annual Tree Seedling Sale, And More, April 22

Everyone is welcome to join the Berks County Conservation District at our annual Tree Seedling Sale on April 22 from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Berks County Agricultural Center, 1238 County Welfare Road Leesport, PA 19533.  (Look for signs on County Welfare Road.)

* Dec. 29 Chesapeake Bay Journal Now Available

The December 29 issue of the Chesapeake Bay Journal is now available featuring stories on--

* 100th PA Farm Show Set For January 9-16

The 100th PA Farm Show will be held in Harrisburg from January 9 to 16 again featuring nearly 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 300 commercial exhibits.

* Carol Collier: Front Row Seat At The Paris Climate Conference

Carol Collier, from the Academy of Natural Sciences at Drexel University, had a front row seat at the Paris Climate Conference at the beginning of December.  She captured her experience in a series of blog posts this week for the Academy--

* Bucks County Earth Guardian Joins Suit Against DEP On Setting Carbon Dioxide Limits

On December 4, Bucks County Earth Guardian Kaia Elinich officially joined six other Pennsylvania youths as petitioners in a lawsuit to force DEP to develop carbon dioxide and other limits to combat climate change filed by the Our Children’s Trust on their behalf.

* GreenTreks Network 2015 Year In Review

2015 was a busy and productive year at the GreenTreks Network and its EcoExpress and StormwaterPA related educational initiatives.

* Northeast Pennsylvania Observes January As Mining History Month

King’s College and the Anthracite Heritage Foundation are helping to coordinate the regional observance of Mining History Month in January with programs in Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, Pittston, Port Griffith, Plymouth, Nanticoke, Ashley, Hazleton and Wilkes-Barre Township. 

* DCNR Community Conservation Partnership Grant Webinars Jan. 21, Feb. 11

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has scheduled two webinars to help applicants apply for Community Conservation Partnership Grants--

* Brodhead Creek Watershed Assn. Easy Winter Hike Jan. 23 In Monroe County

The Brodhead Creek Watershed Association will host an easy winter 3.3 mile hike on January 23 starting at the trailhead at the West End Regional Park, 578 Evergreen Hollow Road, Brodheadsville, Monroe County at 10:00 a.m.

* Op-Ed: There Are Billions Of Reasons Why PA Parks Are Good For Us

By Tim Herd, Executive Director, PA Recreation and Park Society

* Woodward Family Finalizes Easement To Natural Lands Trust In Philadelphia

The Natural Lands Trust Tuesday announced on December 17 it completed the transaction granting a conservation easement on the St. Martin’s golf course property acquired by The Philadelphia Cricket Club.

* 29 Acres On Tussey Mountain Added To Rothrock State Forest

When Tom Hoy (second from left) retired from a career with the FBI and returned to his hometown of State College in Centre County in 2006, he had plans to build a retirement retreat on a little piece of land on Tussey Mountain handed down to him by his parents.

* Feature: Fish & Boat Commission Celebrates 150th Anniversary 1866-2015

Straight Talk, By John A. Arway, Executive Director, Fish & Boat Commission

* Save The Date: PA Outdoor Writers Assn. Spring Conference May 13-15

The PA Outdoor Writers Association will hold its spring conference in Sayre, Bradford County, May 13-15.  Conference details are coming together.  Contact Nick Sisley by email to: nicksisley@hotmail.com with any questions.

* Opportunity To Bid On Mine Reclamation Project In Jefferson County

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the January 2, 2016 PA Bulletin (page 66) it is accepting proposals from licensed mine operators for the completion of a mine reclamation project in Union Township, Jefferson County.  Proposals are due January 8.

* 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 Susquehanna River Basin Commission published notice in the January 2, 2016 PA Bulletin of final regulations on the review and approval of water withdrawal projects and a second notice of actions taken at its December meeting.

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

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