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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, Jan. 18, 2016 Issue #603
* Susquehanna River’s North Branch Named PA River Of The Year

Steeped in historical and recreational value, the free flowing Susquehanna River North Branch in northeastern Pennsylvania has been voted the 2016 Pennsylvania River of the Year following a five-week public voting period.

* PA Parks & Forests Foundation Announces 2016 Award Winners

The PA Parks and Forests Foundation Friday announced the winners of its 2016 annual awards.  And the winners are--

* DEP Reports On 2015 Accomplishments To Protect Air, Land, Water, Public Health

On Tuesday, the Department of Environmental Protection released a report on its 2015 accomplishments.

* Gov. Wolf Reviews Accomplishments During 1st Year In Office

Gov. Wolf released a list of his major accomplishments during his first year in office Friday along with a special webpage called Results.  Among the environmental accomplishments he put on his list for 2015 were--

* 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--

* Budget Bottom Line: House Fails To Solve Any Part Of Budget Mess, Again

If you were waiting for some glimmer of agreement on at least one budget issue this week in the House, you were very disappointed.  On the other hand, if you were waiting for the House to designate the week of December 26 through January 1 as “Kwanzaa Week” in Pennsylvania, the two week delay was worth it.

* Senate/House Release FY 2016-17 Budget Hearing Schedule

The Senate Appropriations Committee Monday released its schedule of hearings on the FY 2016-17 budget request--

* Rep. Sturla Unveils Natural Gas Severance Tax, Nothing For The Environment

Rep. Mike Sturla (D-Lancaster) is seeking support for his legislation that would implement a graduated severance tax on Marcellus Shale to fund pension obligations at state and local levels.

* Gov. Wolf, Senate, House GOP Outline 2016 Priorities, Environment Missing So Far

PA Legislative Services is in the middle of a series of articles outlining the 2016 budget and non-budget priorities of Gov. Wolf and each of the four legislative caucuses.  Here’s a quick summary of the priorities the Governor, Senate Republicans and House Republicans identified--

* Final Meeting Of Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force Jan. 20

The Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force will meet for the final time on January 20 to finish its work on about 184 recommendations on how to better guide the development of natural gas pipelines in the Commonwealth.

* Post-Gazette: EHB Sides With DEP In Regulation Of Oil And Gas Emissions

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Tuesday the Environmental Hearing Board has sided with DEP on how it aggregates natural gas emissions for regulation in an appeal brought by National Fuel Gas Midstream, Seneca Resources and others.

* CBF-PA: Water Quality Plays Key Role In Return, Survival Of Bald Eagles

By Harry Campbell, PA Office Director, Chesapeake Bay Foundation

* EPA Wastewater Infrastructure Needs Survey: $6.950 Billion In Pennsylvania

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Wednesday released a survey showing Pennsylvania has $6.950 billion in wastewater infrastructure repair/replacement needs, including the pipes that carry wastewater to treatment plants, the technology that treats the water, and methods for managing stormwater runoff.

* Capital Region Water Greening Events Jan. 28, Feb. 2 In Harrisburg

Capital Region Water will hold two Community Greening Events on January 28 at Camp Curtin YMCA and February 2 at the Lincoln School in Harrisburg as part of its City Beautiful H2O Initiative.

* DEP On Pace To Reclaim Over 1,300 Acres Of Abandoned Mine Lands From 2015

A Department of Environmental Protection report to the DEP Mining and Reclamation Advisory Board for its January 21 meeting shows the agency will finish reclamation of about 1,368 acres of abandoned mine lands from the 2015 season.

* Penn State: Rapid Assessment Tool Provides Easier Way To Monitor Wetland Quality

A modified or "rapid" version of an existing wetland assessment tool can accurately assess the quality of wetlands, according to Penn State researchers. Using the rapid version of the tool, known as the Floristic Quality Assessment Index (FQI), can save time and improve upon wetland monitoring strategies.

* Susquehanna River Basin Commission Feb. 4 Hearing On Water Withdrawal Requests

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission will hold a public hearing February 4 at the East Hanover Township Municipal Building, 8848 Jonestown Rd., Grantville, Dauphin County to accept comments on proposed water withdrawal requests. (formal notice and agenda)

* DEP Notice Of Proposed Great Lakes Water Withdrawal In Wisconsin

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the January 16 PA Bulletin of a proposed ban on a water withdrawal from the Great Lakes in Wisconsin and an opportunity for public comment.

* State Insurance Commissioner Supports Flood Insurance Reforms To Lower Cost

Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller Wednesday testified at a Congressional subcommittee on legislation that would help consumers and is in line with Wolf Administration's plans to help homeowners and renters get better access to private flood coverage.

* DEP Committee To Hear About Waste-To-Energy Role In Meeting EPA Clean Power Rule

DEP’s Solid Waste Advisory Committee will hear a presentation at its January 21 meeting on how waste-to-energy facilities can help Pennsylvania meets its obligations under the EPA Clean Power Climate rule.

* Op-Ed: Pennsylvania Electronics Recycling Rules Not Easily Met

By David E. Vollero, Executive Director, York County Solid Waste Authority

* PRC Vermicomposting, Backyard Composting, Rain Barrel Workshops In Western PA

The PA Resources Council Wednesday announced its Winter 2016 schedule of vermicomposting, backyard composting and rain barrel workshops to take place in January, February and March at several locations in Allegheny County.

* KPB Surveillance Camera Program Results In Over 30 Convictions For Illegal Dumping

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful’s Surveillance Camera Loan Program has resulted in over 30 convictions for illegal dumping in communities, state forests and recycling drop off centers over the last year.

* January PROP Connection Newsletter Now Available For Professional Recyclers

The January issue of the Connection newsletter is now available from the Professional Recyclers of PA featuring articles on--

* Pittsburgh Business Times 2016 Energy Leadership Award Nominations Due Feb. 19

The Pittsburgh Business Times is now accepting nominations for its 2016 Energy Leadership Awards.  The deadline for nominations is February 19.

* PennTAP, DEP Energy Management Systems Webinar Jan. 28

PennTAP will host a webinar on January 28 on Saving Money Through Energy Management Systems starting at noon.

* Chesapeake Bay Watershed Students: Visualize Your Water Challenge

High school students in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed are invited to become part of the Visualize Your Water Challenge sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Chesapeake Bay Foundation and other partners.

* Green Schools-Blue Waters STEM Investigations For Sustainable Schools Programs

Lebanon Valley College and the Green Schools-Blue Waters Program is sponsoring a four credit graduate course designed to provide educators in grades 3 to 12 with activities and resources to support STEM Investigations For Sustainable Schools.

* The Nature Conservancy Awards 4 Philly Schools Nature Works Everywhere Grants

The McCall School, New Foundations Charter School, Tilden Middle School and the Penn Alexander School were the recipients four of the 50 Natural Works Everywhere grants from The Nature Conservancy this week.

* PA American Water Now Accepting Applications For Stream Of Learning Scholarships

Pennsylvania American Water Wednesday announced applications are now being accepted for its 2016 Stream of Learning Scholarship Program to provide financial assistance to high school seniors who are planning to pursue careers in the water and wastewater industry.

* $4,000 College Scholarship Applications Due To Northeast PA Audubon April 30

The Northeast Pennsylvania Audubon Society is now accepting applications for a $4,000 college scholarship to students who wish to pursue a career in an environmental field such as Forestry, Natural Resources, Environmental Planning, Environmental Engineering, Fish, Game, or Wildlife Management, Ecology and/or Environmental Science.

* Northeast PA Audubon Offers Scholarships For Hog Island Environmental Ed Program

The Northeast Pennsylvania Audubon Society is offering a full scholarship for one adult and a related child between the ages of 8 and 13 to the family camp on Maine’s scenic Hog Island, a landmark of environmental education since 1936.

* Delaware Highlands Conservancy Scholarship Applications Due March 30

The Delaware Highlands Conservancy is now accepting applications from eligible high school seniors for the “Delaware Highlands Conservancy/Yeaman Scholarship” and the “Vanessa Van Gorder Memorial Scholarship,” both in the amount of $1,000.

* Apply Now For 2016 House Of Representatives College Scholarships

High school seniors can now apply for a PA House of Representatives Scholarship to help cover the costs of higher education.  The deadline to apply is March 1.

* Project WET Workshops March 16 In Poconos, March 30 In West Chester

Thinking about being a Project WET educator?  Attend the Project WET Facilitator Workshop to be held March 16 at the Inn at Pocono Manor in connection with the PA Association of Environmental Educators Conference

* Environmental Educator Ideas Needed On Using Enviro Heritage Videos In Classrooms

The Pennsylvania Conservation Heritage Project is now soliciting comments from environmental educators on using the mini-documentaries of Ralph Abele, Mira Lloyd Dock and Gifford Pinchot produced by WITF-TV  in the classroom at special events on February 3 in Harrisburg and February 8 in Nazareth, Northampton County, or through an online survey.

* Lacawac Sanctuary Jan. 21 Fire and Ice Cocktail Event & Art Exhibit

The Lacawac Sanctuary and Field Station will host the 2nd annual Fire and Ice Event on January 21 in support of environmental and science outreach K-12 school programs in Lackawanna, Luzerne, Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming Counties.

* Intern Wanted: Pittsburgh Outdoor Classroom Has Summer Intern Position Available

The Outdoor Classroom in Pittsburgh is seeking a student for a non-paid summer intern position to work in environmental education programs, highlighting inter-relationships between humans and the environment, for primary and secondary school students, community groups, scout troops, and others.  Click Here for all the details.

* Interns Wanted: U.S. Forest Service, Grey Towers National Historic Landmark

Applications are currently being accepted for a number of different summer internships at Grey Towers National Historic Site, Milford, Pike County.

* Help Wanted: Pittsburgh Outdoor Classroom Seeking Environmental Educators

The Outdoor Classroom in Pittsburgh is seeking qualified individuals for educator positions to work in environmental education programs highlighting inter-relationships between humans and the environment, for primary and secondary school students, community groups, scout troops, and others.  Click Here for all the details.

* Pittsburgh TreeVitalize Now Accepting Applications For Allegheny County

Pittsburgh and Allegheny County neighborhoods can now apply for trees and other services to support street, park and riverfront tree plantings by the Pittsburgh TreeVitalize Program administered by the Western PA Conservancy.

* PEC-TV: PA Trail Networks Featured On Jan. 17 Environmental Focus On PCN

Over 1,700 miles of hiking and biking trails have proven to be an economic boom for the cities and towns across Pennsylvania. Connecting these trails together to create regional trail networks is highlighted in this month’s edition of “Environmental Focus,” the PA Environmental Council’s monthly environmental affairs television program.

* Center For Rural PA: PA Heritage Areas Contribute $2 Billion To State’s Economy

A study released Thursday by the Center for Rural Pennsylvania found visitors to Pennsylvania’s Heritage Areas contribute just over $2 billion annually to the state’s economy supporting over 25,700 jobs.

* Former DEP Sec. Abruzzo Named PA American Water Environmental Compliance Chief

PA American Water Tuesday announced the appointment of E. Christopher “Chris” Abruzzo as senior director of Water Quality and Environmental Compliance.

* Help Wanted: PA Conservation Districts Hiring Conservation Engineer, Technician

The PA Association of Conservation Districts is seeking qualified individuals to fill a Conservation Engineer and Conservation Technician positions in its Bloomsburg Technical Office, Columbia County.  Applications are due January 29.  Click Here for all the details and for job opportunities in individual county conservation districts.

* Opportunity To Bid On DEP Mine Reclamation Project In Allegheny County

The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the January 16 PA Bulletin of the opportunity to bid on a mine reclamation project in Allegheny 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

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 - January 16, 2016

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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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