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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
Crisci Associates, March 28, 2016 Issue #613
* Winners Of 2016 Governor’s Award For Environmental Excellence Announced

Gov. Tom Wolf Monday announced that 17 organizations involved in 14 projects from across the Commonwealth will receive the prestigious Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence.

* Sister Pat Lupo Honored With Women In Conservation Award In Erie

In recognition of Women’s History Month, PennFuture, in conjunction with the National Wildlife Federation, Wednesday presented its 2016 Celebrating Women in Conservation Award to Sister Pat Lupo of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie for her dedication and achievements in the environmental field.

* Hearing: Electronics Manufacturers Need To Pay For E-Waste Actually Collected

The Joint House-Senate Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee heard testimony Monday saying the collapse of the state’s Electronics Waste Recycling Program resulted from the fact that the amount of material actually collected by local recycling programs is many times more than the amount of waste electronics manufacturers are required to pay for under the 2010 Covered Device Recycling Law.

* Keep PA Beautiful: Illegal Dumping Of Electronics Running Rampant In PA

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Monday provided testimony to the Joint House-Senate Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee at a public hearing concerning the Covered Device Recycling Act (Act 108 of 2010), urging members to take action to ensure that every resident in the state has access to convenient and affordable trash disposal and recycling.

* Wolf To Allow GOP Budget Bill To Become Law, But Will Veto Fiscal Code Bill

Gov. Tom Wolf Wednesday announced he would let the Republican FY 2015-16 budget bill-- House Bill 1801 (Irvin-R-Centre) -- become law without his signature.  The bill contains $6.05 billion in supplemental appropriations for the current year.

* PA Environmental Council Thanks Wolf For Veto, Resource Agencies Need More Funding

The PA Environmental Council released this statement Thursday thanking Gov. Wolf for vetoing House Bill 1327 (Peifer-R-Pike), the Fiscal Code bill, and reminded House and Senate lawmakers and the Governor they must provided the necessary funding for our resource protection agencies to address mandatory environmental restoration requirements across the state.

* Analysis: Final Budget Rolls Back Environmental Funding For 13th Year In A Row

While some are breathing a sigh of relief, the FY 2015-16 budget represents the 13th year in a row funding and staff for environmental programs has been cut, diverted or simply held in place, which really amounts to yet another cut.

* Reports: Conventional Oil & Gas Drillers File Lawsuit To Block Final DEP Drilling Regs

Just one day after Gov. Wolf said he would veto House Bill 1327 (Peifer-R-Pike) that includes a provision that would have killed a comprehensive update of DEP drilling regulations covering conventional oil and gas wells, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Tribune Review reported Thursday conventional well drillers have filed a lawsuit to block the regulations from becoming final.

* 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--

* 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--

* Senate/House Bills Moving

The following bills of interest saw action this week in the House and Senate--

* House Unanimously Adopts Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week Resolution

Reps. Garth Everett (R-Lycoming), Keith Gillespie (R-York) and Michael Sturla (D-Lancaster), three of Pennsylvania’s members on the Chesapeake Bay Commission, introduced and the House unanimously passed House Resolution 739 designating the week of June 5-11 Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week. 

* Senate Committee OKs Recycling Fee, Septic System, Dam Financial Assurance Bills

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee reported three bills out of Committee at its meeting Tuesday, including bills authorizing a local recycling fee, further allowing the use of alternative septic systems in sewage planning and establishing a private dam financial assurance program.  The bills were--

* DCED Urges House To Keep Incentives For Natural Gas Vehicles In Place

The Department of Community and Economic Development Monday told the House Democratic Policy Committee there are a variety of hurdles to the deployment of more natural gas-fueled vehicles in the state and the program created in the Act 13 of 2012 to provide incentives should be kept in place.

* House Democrats Introduce, Call For Support Of Lead-Testing Legislation

Citing the tragedy unfolding in Flint, Michigan, Rep. Angel Cruz (D-Philadelphia) was joined by a bipartisan group of legislators Tuesday calling for support of a legislation package that aims to reduce the risk of lead poisoning in Pennsylvania.

* Senate Democrats Call For Statewide Task Force On Lead Problem

A group of Democratic Senators and state health officials Wednesday announced the introduction of a package of 5 bills to address lead problems in Pennsylvania.

* Senate Committee Reports Bills To Allow Game, Fish & Boat Commissions To Set Fees

The Senate Game and Fisheries Committee Wednesday unanimously reported out bills authorizing the Game and Fish and Boat Commissions to set the fees they charge rather than having the General Assembly establish the fees by law.

* Legislative Forestry Task Force Meets On Invasive Species April 14 In State College

The Legislative Forestry Task Force, an initiative of the Joint Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee, will meet in State College on April 14 to hear presentations on invasive species and their impact on forest health.

* March Environmental Synopsis Newsletter Available From Joint Conservation Committee

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

* Applications Now Being Accepted For REAP Farm Conservation Tax Credit Program

Pennsylvania farmers who want to implement best management practices (BMPs) or purchase on-farm conservation equipment are encouraged to apply for remaining 2015-16 Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) Program tax credits.  The deadline for applications is April 22 (Earth Day).

* Chesapeake Bay Foundation 2016 Photo Contest Now Accepting Entries

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation announces its 12th Annual Watershed Photo Contest is now underway. Photo submissions are being accepted through April 13.

* Capital Region Water Proposes DeHart Watershed Conservation Plan In Dauphin County

On Monday Capital Region Water announced a proposal to conserve its 8,000 acre DeHart Watershed Property, the source of drinking water for Harrisburg in Dauphin County, by easement in partnership with the Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation, The Nature Conservancy-PA, and Fort Indiantown Gap in Lebanon County.

* Video: A River Again, The Story Of The Schuylkill River Restoration Project

Chari Towne, the Delaware Riverkeeper Network’s Director of Schuylkill Programs, told the story of the massive restoration project to return the Schuylkill River to a healthy waterway at the recent Schuylkill Watershed Congress. Just a reminder of how far we have come.  Click Here to watch the video.

* CBF-PA Congratulates Fish & Boat Commission On Its 150th Anniversary

Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA issued this statement Thursday by Pennsylvania Executive Director Harry Campbell, as the Fish and Boat Commission prepares to commemorate its 150th anniversary on March 30.

* PA Environmental Council Provides Update On Water Resource Protection Efforts

The PA Environmental Council Tuesday provided a video update on its projects and initiatives to protect and restore water resources in Pennsylvania.

* 2016 National Watershed & Stormwater Conference April 12

The Center for Watershed Protection’s 2016 National Watershed and Stormwater In-Person and Webcast Conference will be on April 12.

* DEP Holds Disinfection Rule Stakeholders Work Group Meeting April 15

The Department of Environmental Protection will hold a meeting of the Stakeholder Work Group on the proposed disinfection requirements rule for public water suppliers on April 15.

* Start Of Spring Brings Greater Risk Of Flooding In Pennsylvania

The PA Emergency Management Agency Monday reminded citizens to practice flood safety during the start of the Spring weather.

* F&M Highlights Big Spring Run Stream, Floodplain Restoration Efforts In Lancaster

Big Spring Run stream and floodplain restoration efforts in Lancaster County were highlighted in the Winter issue of Franklin & Marshall’s Winter Magazine.

* DEP Cites Monster & Mom & Bobo’s Car Wash For Illegal Tire Dump In Allegheny

The Department of Environmental Protection, partnering with the municipality of Penn Hills, Tuesday cited Monster and Mom and Bobo’s Car Wash LLC, for illegally storing an estimated 50,000 waste tires.

* Still Time To Do Some Spring Cleaning, Join 2016 Great American Cleanup Of PA

There is still time to do a little Spring cleaning along roads, streams and in parks all over Pennsylvania by volunteering a few hours to do a cleanup or beautification project as part of the Great American Cleanup of PA.

* York County Solid Waste Authority To Re-Launch Electronics Recycling Program

The York County Solid Waste Authority Monday announced it will re-launch a Residential Electronics Recycling Program in York County beginning in early April, 2016.  The exact start date will be announced soon. 

* Gov. Wolf Announces Federal Disaster Funding For 23 Counties

Gov. Tom Wolf Thursday announced the federal government has granted his request for federal disaster assistance to reimburse state, county and municipal governments and other eligible private nonprofits for costs associated with the response to the winter storm that impacted parts of Pennsylvania January 22-23 in 23 counties.

* DEP Issues Emergency Contract To Stop Mine Subsidence Damage In Allegheny County

The Department of Environmental Protection Thursday announced it has authorized an emergency contract to stop serious mine subsidence in Pleasant Hills, Allegheny County.

* DEP: March 29 Meeting/Hearing On Gibraltar Rock Quarry Permit Montgomery County

The Department of Environmental Protection Thursday announced it will host an information session and public hearing March 29 concerning the renewal of an Individual National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit in association with mining activities at the Gibraltar Rock Quarry, located in New Hanover Township in Montgomery County.

* Derry Township School District Adds 3 Clean-Burning, Propane Buses To Fleet

Derry Township School District in Dauphin County introduced three new school buses fueled by propane into its fleet for the 2015-16 school year. The Blue Bird Propane Vision buses have already saved the school district money by reducing fuel and maintenance costs.

* Energypath Renewable Conference: Futurist, Student Camps, Science Fair July 25-29

The Sustainable Energy Fund Thursday announced Jack Uldrich, renowned futurist and best-selling author, as the keynote speaker for Energypath 2016 in State College July 28-29.

* Energy Alliance Pittsburgh Annual Meeting April 25

The Energy Alliance of Greater Pittsburgh will hold its annual meeting on April 25 at 11 Stanwix Street, Pittsburgh from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.   PUC Commissioner Robert F. Powelson will be the keynote speaker for this special event.  Click Here for all the details and to register.

* Final STEM For Sustainable Schools Teacher Program April 11 To May 6

Lebanon Valley College and the Green Schools-Blue Waters Program will hold the last of  their three more credit graduate course designed to provide educators in grades 3 to 12 with activities and resources to support STEM Investigations For Sustainable Schools from April 11 to May 6.

* Philadelphia Science Festival Targets K-12 Students, Teachers April 22-30

The Philadelphia Science Festival is a community-wide celebration of science that takes place annually.  This year it will be held from April 22-30.

* DCNR Launches Endangered Species Permit Review Tool— PA Conservation Explorer

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn Monday announced the department and its partners today are launching PA Conservation Explorer to assist businesses, local governments and citizens with conservation planning, and improve the process for environmental reviews for threatened and endangered species that are required during permitting for construction and other activities.

* DCNR Now Accepting Applications For Fire Company Grants To Help Battle Wildfires

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is now accepting applications from volunteer fire companies for grants to help battle wildfires.  Applications are due May 19.

* Natural Lands Trust Mega Tree Planting Party April 16 Chester County

The Natural Lands Trust is seeking volunteers for a “Mega Tree Planting Party” April 16 at the ChesLen Preserve in Coatesville, Chester County from 9:00 a.m. to Noon.

* PA Horticultural Society Tree Tenders Classes Coming Up In Southeast

The PA Horticultural Society has scheduled a series of Spring and Fall Tree Tender classes in the 5-county Philadelphia area to help residents learn tree biology, identification, planning, proper care and working with your community to promote tree planting.  The schedule includes--

* Wildlands Conservancy, Partners: Return On The Environment Workshop April 22

The Wildlands Conservancy and its partners will hold a Return On The Environment Workshop April 22 (Earth Day) at DeSales University, University Center, 2755 Station Ave., Center Valley from 8:00 to 11:00 a.m.

* Delaware Valley Planning Commission Awards $7.6M For Bike Trails In Southeast

The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission Friday announced it has awarded $7.6 million to eleven local projects in Southeastern Pennsylvania through the Transportation Alternatives Program.

* PA Parks & Forests Foundation Launches New Website

The PA Parks and Forests Foundation, the only non-profit whose mission is Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests, is launching its new website this week. They invite visitors to explore the new design and features.

* Western PA Conservancy Spring Conserve Magazine Now Available

The Spring edition of Conserve, the quarterly magazine by the Western PA Conservancy, is now available featuring articles on--

* Feature- Remembering The Accident At Three Mile Island, 3:53 a.m., March 28, 1979

At 3:53 a.m., March 28, 1979, the cascading failures of valves, pumps, gauges and reactor operators combined to produce the worst accident in the U.S. commercial nuclear power industry.

* Volunteer Wanted: PA/NJ Chapter American Chestnut Foundation Treasurer

The PA/NJ Chapter of The American Chestnut Foundation is seeking a volunteer to serve as Treasurer with knowledge and experience in finance and accounting.

* Help Wanted: McKean County Conservation District Recycling Director

The McKean County Conservation District has an opening for a grant funded Recycling Director to direct the administration and management of the McKean County Recycling Program and the components of the McKean County Municipal Waste Management Plan.   The deadline for applications is April 8.

* Help Wanted: PA Audubon Society Executive Director

Audubon Pennsylvania is seeking candidates to fill the position of Vice President and Executive Director.   Click Here for a detailed job description and instructions on how to apply.

* 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 - March 26, 2016

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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 Unlimited.

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